THE East Sussex Fire Brigades Union has passed a vote of no confidence in its bosses (The Argus, December 4) over the issue of introducing smaller fire engines carrying less life-saving equipment.

Well, if the situation in the east of the county is anything like that over in the west, then I totally support the union as it fights any attempt to further degrade our two Fire and Rescue Services.

Financial cutbacks have had a severe effect on them and any further attempts to save money, smaller crews and amount of equipment, must surely, as the union said, reduce public and firefighter safety.

The situation in West Sussex is that, of its 25 fire stations, only two of them are now crewed by full-time firefighters, with all the rest having to rely, either fully or partially, on retained men and women who have to be called from their homes or places or work before they can come to our assistance in our times of need.

Furthermore, fully 60 per cent of our fire stations have only got one fire engine so, when that one gets called out, the town or village it came from loses all its coverage and has to rely on back-up coming at some stage from somewhere else.

It is a far from ideal situation.

The union said that an official staff survey in June showed that only 13 per cent of whole time firefighters in East Sussex had confidence in the senior leadership, and fire chiefs are now saying that they are looking at the results of it.

Looking, but I wonder if they will take any notice?

Eric Waters Lancing