ANOTHER election on the horizon and politicians of all parties are promising us exactly how they will improve our lives if we give them our votes.

Just for a change how about us telling them what we want?

Let's start by waving copies of last Tuesday's Argus in their faces and asking them what they are going to do about the state our Fire and Rescue Services.

It carried a report of a fire involving nearly 40 firefighters and eight fire engines and a spokesman was quoted as saying that it was well established by the time they arrived.

Of course it was, because there are no longer enough appliances and their crews to get to grips with serious incidents as quickly as possible; others have to be called in from all over the county to help out.

These eight appliances had, between them, travelled over seventy miles to get to the fire, with one of them travelling nearly eighteen.

Time is critical in firefighting and is something the fire services no longer have because sufficient extra machines are no longer available within reasonable distances of incidents.

In Brighton and Hove the stated aim of the city's three fire stations is, "Eight in eight", in other words eight firefighters to arrive within eight minutes but, taking this as the acceptable standard of response only the Lewes firefighters had any chance of attaining it.

The others had to travel five miles, seven miles, eight miles, nine miles, 12 miles and nearly 18 miles; not one of them could have arrived in eight minutes.

In fact, three of them would have taken even longer as they were manned by retained firefighters who had to be called from their homes and places of work before they could even start travelling to the fire.

The situation regarding the county's two fire services really is dire and affects every single one of the people the politicians are trying to impress; after all, not one of us lives in a fire-proof building and we could all be the next people to lose our homes and even our lives. So, it is up to every voter to tell every politician, "No Fire Service, No vote!".

Eric Waters, Ingleside Crescent, Lancing