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Retained fire stations in Bosham, Findon and Keymer will close as part of changes to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service:
West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service is to undergo major improvements, bringing its operations into the 21st century by ensuring fire stations, fire engines and firefighters are matched to changing risks across the county.
This is in line with its ongoing commitment to continue driving down the numbers of people killed or injured in emergencies throughout the county.
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, today gave the go-ahead to the Fire and Rescue Service’s draft Improvement Plan, which was the subject of a comprehensive countywide consultation held throughout the summer.
The plan is designed to improve the balance of emergency cover by matching stations, fire engines and firefighters to changing risks across West Sussex.
It will see resources in some low risk areas being redeployed to higher risk areas where there is greater need. For example:
· Burgess Hill and Littlehampton retained fire stations will be upgraded and crewed by whole time firefighters at peak times.
· The retained fire stations at Bosham, Findon and Keymer, which are in low risk areas and have a low number of emergency calls, will be closed. This will free up resources to be used more effectively and emergency cover will come from neighbouring stations.
· The second fire engine at East Preston, Lancing and Horley fire stations, which attended a relatively low number of calls, are to be redeployed more effectively elsewhere.
There will also be:
· Improved firefighter safety through better training.
· Increased community safety activities to prevent emergencies occurring in the first place.
· Efficiency savings of £1.2 million while at the same time protecting essential frontline services.
Peter said: “Our Fire and Rescue Service has put together a package of proposals that will improve public safety and make it more effective in the long term. It will make resources more effective by reflecting the changing risks in West Sussex.
“Higher risk areas will be targeted, so improving safety for vulnerable people, and there will be overall improvements to response times across the county.
“It will improve the safety of our firefighters who will be better trained and more effective at operational incidents.”