Sunday, 8 February 2015

More false allegations from WSFRS

Well it looks like the knives are out, and that was even before we reached 450 signatures. This item appeared on the East Grinstead Online website - West Sussex Fire and Rescue calls campaign against cuts “misleading”

I have responded, but my comments are 'awaiting moderation', so I have reproduced them here:

The County Council carried out an inadequate review, a sham consultation, and they continue to distort the truth. The WSFRS spokesperson has clearly not read the detailed documents prepared by them for the review. That is where the figure for extra deaths comes from – an extra 55 in 100 years, which equals an extra death every two years.

Those figures were deliberately excluded from the consultation document and hidden in supporting documents. Even County Councillors were misled, as shown by Jim Rae who supposedly carried out a detailed review of the cuts. At the October County Council meeting he stated that the figure was only 3 extra deaths in 100 years. That clearly demonstrated that, either he was not telling the truth, or he was misled. I believe it was the latter.

Every time their figures and Government figures are highlighted, WSFRS falsely allege that ‘they are taken out of context’. That is wholly untrue, details about increasing deaths, fire engines not properly crewed and increasing response times are all very relevant and in context.

Let’s be clear, these cuts are nothing to do with meeting future needs, just about meeting an inadequate budget. I would agree that WSFRS staff are working hard, but they need effective support from the County Council. Without it they are fighting a losing battle and the public suffer as a result.

The County Council and WSFRS spokespersons continue to treat the public with contempt. Common sense says that, if there are less fire engines there will be more times when they take longer to arrive. Government and independent reviews have proven that when response times increase, more people die and more property damage is caused.

This is not my campaign, it is a campaign supported by most serving firefighters, many retired firefighters, parish and town councils, several County Councillors and the public. To save lives I would urge the public to sign the “Stop fire engine and firefighter cuts in West Sussex” petition. You can find it online by searching for ‘West Sussex Epetitions’.

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