West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) wants Worthing residents and businesses to give their views on proposals that could change the way the service operates.
It is aiming to improve the service it offers across the county while managing resources within a reduced budget.
Members of the public are being asked to comment on proposals that would help the fire and rescue service save £1.6million from its budget for 2015/16 without impacting on its response to emergencies or response standards.
- Keep all fire stations open, but change the way fire engines are crewed, introduce new shift patterns and reduce the overall number of staff, including firefighters.
- Keep the same number of immediate response fire engines, but move one from a temporary base to a permanent location and remove some second, and one third, appliance.
- Will support WSFRS with the prevention work it carries out, working closely with communities, professional partners and those most at risk.
- Allow for investment in specialist equipment and training to support communities during severe weather and widespread flooding.
A county wide consultation started yesterday (Monday June 2nd) and will run until August 23rd, before the proposals are considered by West Sussex County Council in September.
Details about the proposals will be given at the Worthing County Local Committee meeting at 7.00 pm on Tuesday June 10th at the Business Centre, Durrington High School, The Boulevard, Worthing. A consultation stand will also be set up at Worthing fire station open day on Saturday July 26th.
Lionel Barnard, West Sussex County Council’s Cabinet Member for residents’ services, which includes the fire service, said: “We want to meet residents face to face in the community to talk about the proposed changes and to find out what local people think.
“Demand has changed and the types of incidents the service attends have also changed. We need to position the service to give the best response within the resources we have available. Above all we want to make the people of Sussex safer by changing the way West Sussex Fire and Rescue service operates in the future.
“We have been open about the savings that we need to make and are keen to make it clear to the public that we will not compromise the effectiveness of the service.”
Full copies of the consultation document will be available at Worthing Library and at Worthing Borough Council. Electronic copies, and all the supporting technical documentation, is available on the fire service website.
An online questionnaire is available and people can also write to Have Your Say, Future Fire Rescue, Freepost RSBK-CHTU-KGGG WSCC, Chichester, PO19 1RQ.