Four fire engines at risk in £1.6m saving plans

Four fire engines at risk in £1.6m saving plans

Four fire engines at risk in £1.6m saving plans

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FOUR fire engines could be cut in plans to save £1.6 million.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service announced a series of changes in cost-cutting measures for 2015/16.

The proposals would see secondary engines removed from Storrington, Petworth and Midhurst and a third appliance taken away from Crawley.

Plans to upgrade Littlehampton fire station to a 24-hour service have also been mooted.

The fire service said the plans would see all stations remain open and there would be no loss of “immediate response fire engines”.

Shift changes are also proposed at Shoreham, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and East Grinstead stations, leading to the loss of 10 firefighters.

Unions warned that the cuts were just the beginning, with “a lot more to follow” in later years.

They added that the loss of the fire engines would not have a huge effect on performance, as secondary appliances are already redun- dant because “poorly-paid” retained fire- fighter roles were not attracting recruits.

Fire Brigade Union (FBU) officials also claim that the county’s team of 350 permanent firefighters will be reduced by a tenth through natural wastage in the coming months.

Union figures said that the impact of staffing changes was yet to be seen.

The proposals would also see a further £220,000 spent on flooding equipment, while cost savings were being sought in management and administrative roles.

FBU West Sussex secretary Francis Bishop said that despite politicians’ claims that the number of calls the service received had reduced significantly in recent years, there were not that many fewer fires and the fires they attended were “still just as hot”.

Chief Fire Officer Sean Ruth said: “The number of emergency calls we receive has fallen and the types of incident we respond to has changed. We need to adapt our service to reflect this.”

The draft proposals will be considered by West Sussex County Council’s environment and community services select committee next Wednesday.

Comments (4)

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8:57am Thu 8 May 14

monkeymoo says...

I look forward to the day when a politician (or Chief fire officer) really need the help and expertise of the fire fighters.......
.....and there is no one there to help.

What kind of idiot can stand by, after watching their firefighters struggle to cope with recent events (floods) as well as all the other 'normal' call outs... and then claim they can CUT the service!

It's YOUR life these people are putting at risk by cutting the service. Write to your local MP, object to it through the public consultations. Make your voice heard.

Remember: When you are having one of your worst days in your life, that's when a firefighter will step in and risk theirs for you.
I look forward to the day when a politician (or Chief fire officer) really need the help and expertise of the fire fighters....... .....and there is no one there to help. What kind of idiot can stand by, after watching their firefighters struggle to cope with recent events (floods) as well as all the other 'normal' call outs... and then claim they can CUT the service! It's YOUR life these people are putting at risk by cutting the service. Write to your local MP, object to it through the public consultations. Make your voice heard. Remember: When you are having one of your worst days in your life, that's when a firefighter will step in and risk theirs for you. monkeymoo
  • Score: 9

9:07am Thu 8 May 14

hyram77 says...

It's more important to save money than lives in today's society. Very sad state of affairs.
It's more important to save money than lives in today's society. Very sad state of affairs. hyram77
  • Score: 5

9:36am Thu 8 May 14

sailer says...

The main problem with East and West Sussex F.B. is they are very top heavy and if they carry on cutting firefighters there will be more officers than men on the front line. Also officers pay have greatly increased over the last 20 or 30 years which adds to the tax payers burden for the rest of their lives. It is important cuts are from the top down and not the bottom up in the Fire Service. Remember a while back when there were more managers than nurses in the NHS.
The main problem with East and West Sussex F.B. is they are very top heavy and if they carry on cutting firefighters there will be more officers than men on the front line. Also officers pay have greatly increased over the last 20 or 30 years which adds to the tax payers burden for the rest of their lives. It is important cuts are from the top down and not the bottom up in the Fire Service. Remember a while back when there were more managers than nurses in the NHS. sailer
  • Score: 8

9:42pm Thu 8 May 14

greeg2 says...

"Fire Brigade Union (FBU) officials also claim that the county’s team of 350 permanent firefighters will be reduced by a tenth."
Let's be honest,they're playing cards most of the time anyway.
"Fire Brigade Union (FBU) officials also claim that the county’s team of 350 permanent firefighters will be reduced by a tenth." Let's be honest,they're playing cards most of the time anyway. greeg2
  • Score: -5

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