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4th March 2009
White Watch Worthing fire crews were called out to Byron Road, Worthing yesterday afternoon (Wednesday 4th March) when unlucky cat Napoleon lost two of his nine lives after falling from a second storey window and, minutes later, becoming trapped inside the engine of a parked car.
The hapless moggy was perched next to an open window when his legs slipped and he fell onto grass outside the flat. Naturally, Napoleon became frightened and hid underneath a nearby car when his owner, Angela Atkinson went out to find him. She tried to coax him out of his hiding place, but he had wedged himself into the engine until only his head could be seen poking out underneath the bonnet.
After several efforts were made by Ms Atkinson and neighbours to encourage the shy cat from his hideaway, Worthing crews were called to the Incident at 12:05 to find Napoleon in the middle of the engine tucked behind the gearbox.
More than a few unsuccessful attempts were made to release the moggy before firefighters had no choice but to jack the car up, remove the battery and even take the front wheels off! After one-and-a-half hours, Napoleon was eventually coaxed out before shooting away to recover from his ordeal.
Sandra Dudas, Owner of the Peugeot 206, who happened to be visiting Napoleon's neighbour, said:
"When someone tells you that a cat has climbed into your engine, you can't believe it. But the cat had to come out eventually and it would be cruel to leave him in there for hours. The firefighters did a brilliant job releasing him and put the engine back together perfectly afterwards. The car works just as well as it did before."
Napoleon is now recovering at home with his seven remaining lives – maybe he will learn his lesson and stay away from open windows in the future!
PHOTOS copyright Eddie Mitchell 07771 605974
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Posted Friday August 25 2006 12:20 by Gary Towson:
Young people in Sussex will now have the chance to learn about fire and road safety from their footballing heroes.
East and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Services have jointly developed a partnership with Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club to offer football-coaching programmes and initiatives to children and young adults that focus on fire safety, arson reduction and road safety.
Called Football in the Community, the courses help young people to learn about the dangers of fire and making hoax emergency calls and how to be safe on the countys roads. Albion players and a wide range of football skills are used to keep the young people interested in these important topics.
The official launch of the programme will be at half time during The Seagulls game against Crewe FC on Sunday 27 August. Some of The Seagulls first team players and chief executive Martin Perry will accept presentation cheques from firefighters representing both East and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Services. The cheques will be used to financially support the Footballing in the Community programme in the future.
The coaching programmes which are the first of their kind in the UK have been developed over the last two years by Firefighter Dave Amiet from East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service. Dave, who is also a qualified football coach, takes the young people through a series of footballing skills, each session with an important fire and road safety message.
Dave explains: "By talking to young people through the game of football, we're able to break down barriers and they are more willing to listen to what we're trying to say. Football is a great leveller, which anyone both boys and girls can enjoy. We want to teach young people about the dangers of fire, the importance of road safety and ultimately, help to save lives in Sussex. At the same time as learning these valuable messages, young people can enjoy a great sport and stay healthy it's a win-win situation."
Dave is now working closely on the project with West Sussex firefighter Richard Coomber. Still in its early stages, it has already been trialled at schools, colleges and holiday courses throughout East and West Sussex. In the new school term, starting in September, the Football in the Community programme will also visit special needs schools and work with social inclusion partnerships which help disadvantaged groups of young people.
Darren Teague, football inclusion project manager for Brighton & Hove Albion FC, has been working alongside East and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Services to implement the project. He said: "This is a fantastic partnership for Brighton & Hove Albion FC. To be able to work with Fire Service personnel dedicated to saving peoples lives is a new experience for me and for the team. I am positive the partnership will be a great success and would like to see other professional clubs follow our initiative."
Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for public safety, said: By forging this innovative link with the Seagulls, our firefighters are reflecting their policy of playing an increasingly high profile role in a wide range of key community activities, particularly those involving young people."

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Date Added: 20th January 2008

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service are offering free home fire safety checks
throughout the County that includes the FREE fitting of a smoke alarm.
For more information please call FREEPHONE 0800-3286487
or book your Home Fire Safety Check on-line by visiting www.westsussex,
Smoke alarms save lives. Please test yours to make sure it works

Date Added: 19th January 2010
Press Officer: Sarah Smith

Home Fire Safety Checks carried out by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have proved a huge success in reducing the amount of home fires over the last 5 years.
The initiative introduced in 2004 has seen firefighters carry out more than 36,000 checks across the county with more than 46,000 free smoke alarms fitted. House fires have been falling year on year with latest figures showing an 11% decrease from 2008 to 2009.
As a result of the high levels of demand for the service and to make sure they are using resources as effectively as possible, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service have now changed their policy on the Home Fire Safety Checks to target those individuals and groups who are most vulnerable.
Community Fire Safety Officer Jackie Boyle explains “The free home fire safety checks have proved so successful, we now need to make sure that we are prioritising our visits to those who are most at risk of a fire.”
We would encourage anyone who is able to carry out the check themselves to use our free online DIY Home Fire Safety Check which is available with other fire safety advice by logging onto
Are you eligible for a free Home Fire Safety Check? West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service wants to hear from you if you are:

  • Over 65
  • A lone parent
  • Disabled or with an impairment
  • Single adult living alone
  • Immobile or without assistance
The Home Safety Check is totally free. The local fire crew will phone to arrange a convenient time – either weekday, evening or weekend. They will then call round, check for any potential fire hazards, offer straightforward fire safety advice, and fit smoke alarms if needed.
To request a Home Fire Safety Check call FREEPHONE 0800 328 6487


Posted Wednesday 9th May 2007
A magical way of teaching young people fire safety has been conjured up by West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service to score a UK 'first'.
It is the first in the country to present an award-winning programme from the United States that features magician Al Belmont using magic to teach young students fire safety, fire and burn prevention and what to do in the event of blaze.
Al, a former teacher has been touring schools throughout West Sussex since February 27, said: "Magic is an effective attention-getter. In this special programme, whenever there is a trick, there is also a fire safety message."
Al was invited to West Sussex by Kathy John, the Fire and Rescue Service's Arson Reduction Manager, after she saw him perform at an international conference on juvenile fire raisers. His tour of West Sussex is being paid for by the Fire and Rescue Service and Sussex Police Authority. Lionel Barnard, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: "A key role of our Fire and Rescue Service is to educate people of all ages about fire safety and prevention. "Al Belmont will provide valuable reinforcement to the all-the-year-round, in-school efforts of our teachers and our firefighters."


Posted 23 May 2007

Home fire safety advice for people who have a sensory disability can now be downloaded from the web pages of West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service. On the website is an audio file for people who are blind, and a film using sign language made for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
They can be accessed via, Fire and Rescue Service, Home Fire Safety. They are also available free of charge on CD-Rom or DVD by contacting the Community Fire Safety team on 01243 752451. Lionel Barnard, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: "This is yet another development reflecting our Fire and Rescue Service's commitment to spreading the home fire and safety message.
"Both the audio file and the film contain valuable information and advice - advice that could be life saving. They are also a valuable teaching tool for when our firefighters go into the community to teach home fire safety to vulnerable residents. "I would urge friends and relatives of people who have a sensory disability to bring this to their attention if they are not already aware of it."

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'Don't leave your TV on stand-by'
That's the warning from West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service following a fire in Worthing early this morning
20th Mar. 2007

Two crews from Worthing Fire Station were called to a house in Hythe Road, Worthing at 00.05am this morning , to reports of an explosion and fire. When crews arrived, the occupiers were outside and smoke was pouring from the rear of the house. 4 firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the house and contained the fire to a ground floor conservatory. The fire caused severe heat and smoke damage throughout the property.
The Red Cross attended with their Fire Emergency Support Unit to offer assistance and help to the occupiers in this traumatic time.

The cause of the fire was put down to a television that had been left on stand-by, which caught fire and exploded. Watch Commander Darren Wickings said ' We urge people to turn off all unnecessary electrical items when leaving the property or going to bed. Televisions left on stand-by still have an electrical current in them, which caused the fire in this instance. It is also recommended to close as many doors as possible, as this will contain the fire to a small area. Also ensure that you have working smoke detectors in your home and have an escape plan'

'We urge people to have one of our free Home Fire Safety Checks, in which fire crews come around to your home and discuss fire safety issues, formulate an escape plan as well as fit smoke detectors free of charge.
To apply for this service, please call 0800 3286487'

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Posted Tuesday November 28 2006

click to activate

A dramatic eye-catching holographic beer mat and poster that graphically shows the consequences of drinking and driving is spearheading a safety campaign designed by a West Sussex County Council Fire and Rescue Service firefighter.

The idea to use what is called 'lenticular' posters and beer mats came from Gary Waters, who is based at East Grinstead Fire Station. They are two superimposed pictures. First you see four young people enjoying a drink in a bar then the image changes to show them badly injured in a car crash. The wording on the beer mat and poster also changes ? from 'Drink and Drive' to 'Drink and Die'.

Gary Waters said: "Dealing with the consequences of drink driving is unfortunately a regular thing for the emergency services. Every time I see people killed or injured in a crash involving a drunk driver makes me want to try and warn others. It's such a needless waste of life."

Originally it was only going to be used in Mid Sussex. However, Lionel Barnard, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: "We thought it was so effective we've decided it should be used throughout the county."
The campaign is also being backed by West Sussex CC's Road Safety Unit, its Community Safety Team, Sussex Police, local district and borough councils and local Crime and Disorder Prevention Partnerships.

click here to activate poster


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June 2008

The Fire and Rescue Service is using Child Safety Week (June 23-June 29) to show parents and carers that teaching by example is the best way to ensure youngsters are aware of the dangers of fire.
Community Fire and Road Safety Officer Jackie Boyle said: "The kitchen is where many fires start in the home. It is crucial parents know the facts about kitchen fire safety so they can pass on valuable knowledge to the whole family."
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Safety, said: "Teaching by example can reduce the chances of having a devastating fire at home. "Our Fire and Rescue Service is at hand to give advice and help keep your family safe by offering home fire safety checks.
The week underlines the importance for parents to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes and to teach children about the dangers of fire and what to do in the event of one breaking out."
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service advises parents to:
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm, and don't remove the batteries
• Never leave cooking unattended, and always have pot handles facing to the back
• Never leave hot mugs where young children can reach them
• Make sure children know the kitchen is not a play area
• Set clear kitchen rules for children
• Make sure children know not to over plug sockets
• Nominate your child to be the 'Escape Champ'. Regularly role-play escape routes giving children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear
• Make sure door and window keys are kept in an easily accessible place, and everyone knows where they are
• Discuss how to call 999 with your child

For further information or a free Home Fire Safety Check
contact West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service on 0800 3286487

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1st October 2008
Date Added: - 11.45am
The Spirit FM Local Hero Awards took place on Friday (September 26th), and a number of people – and animals! – connected to West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service received awards on the night. We would like to take this chance to congratulate them all on their recognition.
Georgina Dey received the Bravery award, for her courage in speaking to students at the Safe Drive Stay Alive show, demonstrating the consequences of dangerous or irresponsible driving to teenagers as they first embark on their driving career. Georgina tragically lost both of her sons in separate car crashes a year apart, and bravely goes through her story and experiences at every show, telling teenagers how important it is to drive safely, in an effort to prevent other parents having to go through the same thing she has.
On presentation of the award, Georgina received a standing ovation and it was by far the most emotional part of the night.
Hattie, the Fire Investigation dog, won Pet of the Year, with her trainer Bas Wood. Hattie – a golden Labrador – works with the West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Arson Task Force, and is trained to sniff out any accelerants, petrol, or flammable materials at the scenes of fires. She was impeccably behaved on the night and wooed the crowds with her good looks and nature. Hattie has helped out many a fire investigation with her clever nose, leading to a number of convictions and plenty of leads for her human counterparts.
As well as these, off-duty firefighter Shane Brayson from Littlehampton Fire Station received the 999 award category for his bravery in rescuing a young couple in Horsham when the house they were sleeping in caught fire. Shane was working nearby when he smelt the smoke and discovered the building alight. On hearing that people were still inside the house he forced an entry and made his way inside before leading them to safety.
Congratulations to all our ‘Local Hero’ award winners!

Date Added: 30th July 2009
Fire Service equipment stolen from Fire Stations
Police are appealing for information from the public to help recover stolen Fire Service equipment, and identify those responsible for the break-ins.
Detectives believe that both Henfield and Hurstpierpoint retained fire stations were broken into overnight, between Thursday evening, July 30 and Friday morning, July 31.
Equipment used for responding to road traffic accidents was taken. Police are linking the thefts.
Scenes of crime officers have carried out forensic examinations at the fire stations and police are continuing with their enquiries.
Neil Odin, Area Commander for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: "It is highly unusual for fire stations to be targeted in this way. Fire stations are equipped to give firefighters the best chance to save lives. Who knows what the motives of these people could have been?
"We stress the ability of firefighters to respond to emergencies was not compromised. However, this type of criminal behaviour could have put lives at risk."
Witnesses to the offences, or anyone with information as to the current whereabouts of the stolen equipment is urged to contact DC Dave Morton of Mid Sussex CID on 0845 60 70 999 quoting reference 246 of July 31.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers (anonymously) on 0800 555 111. You may be eligible for a reward.

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