Date: 8 May 2014
West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) has announced draft proposals aimed at improving the service it offers across the county while managing resources within a reduced budget.
The plans are designed to save £1.6million from the Service's budget for 2015/16, without impacting on its response to emergencies or response standards.
Chief Fire Officer Sean Ruth said: "The number of emergency calls we receive has fallen, and the types of incident we respond to has changed. We need to adapt our service to reflect this.
"We have done a huge amount to target prevention work to those most at risk. We want to continue to work even more closely with the communities we serve to reduce the likelihood of emergencies from occurring in the first place."
The draft proposals will be considered by West Sussex County
Council's Environment and Community Services Select Committee on 14
May, after which a decision on whether they should go forward for
public consultation will be taken by Lionel Barnard, the Cabinet
Member for Residents' Services.
Further information will be available on the Fire Service website. Contact Gary Towson on 07793 369919 or Claire Byrd on 07720 341152
NOTES TO EDITORS;
Our proposals for 2015-16 support our future vision and reflect changes in community risk and the demands on our services. We also propose investment to increase our capacity for preparing for, responding to and supporting the recovery from flooding and severe weather events.
The combined proposals, if approved, will achieve our budget reduction target of £1.6million from our 2013-14 budget of £28.3million.
There are no proposals to close any fire stations or reduce the number of immediate response fire engines. Through the use of more flexible working we will continue to deliver a safe, professional and efficient fire and rescue service for people in West Sussex.
Proposal: Move one of the two immediate response fire engines at Horsham to Littlehampton, making it a 24hr immediate response station
Outcome: Improves Service performance by more effective use of resources.
Proposal: Introduce group crewing model at immediate response stations
Where: Bognor, Chichester, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Worthing.
Proposal: Remove the second fire engines at Midhurst, Petworth and Storrington, leaving one fire engine and 4x4 vehicle at each station
The table shows the total number of incident mobilisations at each of these stations, including the number attended by the second fire engine. Figures are based on latest available data.
Total incidents attended by station 2012-13 Incidents attended by 2nd fire engine at station
The second fire engine is often not crewed due to an insufficient number of retained firefighters being available.
In addition to the 'standard' fire engine, these stations each have a 4x4 response vehicle with capacity to carry up to five firefighters.
The number of firefighters at these stations would not be reduced under this proposal. If an incident required additional firefighters they could proceed in the 4x4 vehicle to support the first crew and use the equipment already there. A second fire engine would also be mobilised from an adjacent station.
This gives more flexibility when getting firefighters to the scene of an incident. At present a standard fire engine must have a minimum crew of four before it can be mobilised, meaning some retained fire engines are often unavailable to attend incidents, especially during the day.
Outcome: Frees up resources with minimal impact on performance and improves flexibility for getting firefighters to scene of incident .
Proposal: Closure of retained unit and removal of third fire engine at Crawley, leaving two fire engines, a Heavy Rescue Tender and a 4x4 vehicle
The third fire engine attends a comparatively low numbe of calls. Figures shown illustrate latest available data.
Incidents attended Incidents attended Incidents attended Incidents attended
There has been a reduction in the number of emergency incidents requiring a third fire engine and, at times, this engine is often not crewed due to an insufficient number of retained firefighters being available.
The ten retained firefighter posts at Crawley would be removed from our establishment under this proposal.
Proposal: Implement revised day crewing model at four stations
Where: Shoreham, Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath, East Grinstead
Outcome: Changes to delivery of community safety work, maintains response standards at reduced cost.
Proposal: Increase operational capacity and support for communities in flooding and severe weather
We propose to invest an initial £220k in additional specialist equipment and training to improve our capability to support communities before, during, and when recovering from flooding and weather-related disruption. This capability will be reviewed and supported through further investment in future years.
Outcome: Improved capability for preparing for, responding to and supporting the recovery from flooding and severe weather related events.
Outcome: Reduced costs in management and administrative functions.
Proposal: Utilise additional trained staff to improve operational resilience
We propose to utilise these resources to boost operational resilience in the event of a major incident, in times of severe weather with multiple calls, or protracted incidents. Staff would be mobilised and use spare appliances or those already at the incident.
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