A CASH-strapped fire brigade is looking for corporate sponsorship in a bid to save services at risk of being axed.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s budget is set to be slashed by £400,000.

Services in line to be axed if the funding cuts are approved include the Safe Drive Stay Alive programme and Fire Break courses.

Now the council is looking to attract sponsorship for these at-risk services, costing up to £1,250.

Councillor George Barton said: “I’ve got this mental vision of our firefighters running around and fighting a fire with ‘Eat at McDonald’s’ on their backs and a burnt hamburger plastered across.

“Silly I know, but are you aware of how difficult it is to fundraise in today’s fragile commercial economy? It’s not easy to raise money and it’s not easy to guarantee it for a period of time.”

Nicola Bulbeck, executive director for communities and public protection, said she was aware of the difficulties but insisted that the council’s corporate commercial team was “actively engaged” in exploring all the opportunities.

Debbie Kennard, cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said Surrey’s Safe Drive Stay Alive programme was fully sponsored and West Sussex hoped to do the same.