1. Removing five fire engines from Crawley, Horsham, Midhurst, Petworth and Storrington. It is this that will cost an extra loss of life every other year and an extra £80,000 of property damage every year.
2. Cutting the number of firefighters on every wholetime station, which will seriously reduce their ability to maintain proper crews of five firefighters on fire engines. This will mean that some fire engines will either be unavailable, or will be left with inadequate crews of only four. The number of extra deaths and property damage from this is not known, as WSFRS failed to assess or model this cut.
Anyone who does not understand why crews of four put firefighters and the public at risk should read the FBU Response to Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Services ‘IRMP Proposals for Change’. WSFRS has not complied with national guidance, or Health & Safety risk assessment requirements.
Previous cuts have resulted in the lowest number of fire engines and crews to protect West Sussex since 1939! Fire deaths are increasing in West Sussex, whilst they have been falling nationally. West Sussex has beaten every other fire service in the southeast, including London, by being the worst for deaths per head of population for each of the last two years.
Firefighters need the support of the County Council to reduce these appalling figures, not cuts. Cutting fire engines and firefighters will just make things worse.
Please sign the “Stop fire engine and firefighter cuts in West Sussex” petition. Find it online by searching for ‘West Sussex Epetitions’, and tell your friends, families and work colleagues.