ALMOST one extra person every other year could be killed because of cuts to a fire service, according to a report.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) is having to make cuts of £1.6 million and has put out a technical report detailing how its cuts will impact on people.

The figures show that “special service fatalities”, including road crashes, are likely to increase by 0.46 people a year for the next 100 years as a result of fewer fire engines and crews being available to respond to emergencies.

This calculation, which subtracts the number of deaths expected each year if there is no change from the number of deaths if the cuts were to happen, means 46 extra fatalities over the next 100 years.

Tony Morris, a former firefighter and now a campaigner of West Sussex Fire And Rescue Stop The Cuts, claims this figure could be even higher as the calculations are based on forecasts for previous deaths between 2006 and 2013, showing 21 deaths, and not national statistics from the Government’s Department for Communities and Local Government updated in January, which come out at 27 deaths over the same period.

He described the report as being based on “misleading information”.

A WSFRS spokesman said: “We absolutely refute any suggestion we have deliberately misled or deceived anyone during this public consultation, and speculative claims about fatalities over the next 100 years are unproven.

“Along with the majority of fire services, we use FSEC modelling software to help analyse local community risks.

“We then use that information to target our prevention activities and reduce the potential for emergencies in the future.

“Risk modelling is by its very nature – indicative. It is not an exact science but it gives us a base position for comparison and is used by emergency services to predict future needs and effective use of resources.

“It is also uses current known risk factors, not future improvements in public safety.

“Who can say with certainty how many fatal house fires there will be 100 years from now if sprinklers are compulsory, or how many road deaths will be avoided if cars are made safer or the transport network is improved?

“The risk modelling was made publically available and discussed at consultation events."