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Improving frontline firefighter cover at a number of key fire stations is just one of a number of proposals set out in a new public consultation launched by West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service.

The fire and rescue service is proposing to increase firefighter availability at some stations, to better align its resources to the risks within the county. This will allow the service to enhance its emergency response, as well as its vital prevention and protection activity within the community.

The proposals are set out in the service’s draft Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP), which outlines the fire and rescue service’s key priorities over the course of the next four years.

The proposals include:

  • Enhancing our retained (on-call) operating model
  • Weekend protection, prevention and response improvements
  • Improving protection, prevention and response performance in rural areas
  • How WSFRS should deal with false alarms from automatic fire systems
  • When we should review our Emergency Response Standards
  • How WSFRS proposes to undertake a review of our specialist appliance requirements to consider current and future risks to firefighter and public safety

The service is now calling on residents from all corners of the county to have their say on its improvement proposals for the future of the service.

Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire & Rescue, Duncan Crow said: “The CRMP is a document that identifies all foreseeable risk that could affect our communities. It helps us to work out where we need our staff and resources, so that we can respond to high-risk incidents and plan how to deliver our vital prevention and protection work.

“It’s our job as a fire and rescue service to understand and manage risk, and we would like you to answer six questions as part of our public consultation to help shape the direction of our service. You’ll be helping to influence our four-year plan for making West Sussex safer. You can visit our consultation website in order to take part and give us your views, or we can send you out a paper copy of our proposals and the survey to complete if you don’t have access to the internet.”

Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “This is a key opportunity for residents, our emergency service partners, and other key partners we work with to have their say on our proposals. We want to hear what people from all walks of life have to say about our planned proposals. We will assess all of the responses we receive and use this to inform our final CRMP which we intend to publish in spring 2022.”

You can find more information on the six proposals and take part in the consultation here. The closing date for responses is Friday 21 January 2022.