Fire Brigades Union response to West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service ‘inadequate’ HMICFRS inspection

Commenting on the latest assessments into HMICFRS, Fire Brigades Union (FBU) South East regional secretary Joe Weir said:

“We welcome the regular inspection of fire and rescue services as part of the work of HMICFRS. It is absolutely right that fire and rescue services are held to high standards.

“It is of significant concern to FBU officials that West Sussex Fire and Rescue (WSFRS) has performed poorly in all areas of the inspection.

“The Fire Brigades Union have challenged senior leaders and councillors in West Sussex for years about the systematic decimation of the service as result of austerity measures.

“Since 2010, WSFRS have cut £7M from their budget, axed 11 fire appliances and removed 305 firefighters – a loss of 37% of its workforce.

“We are not surprised to see that the outcome of these cuts has been a failure to adequately protect the residents of West Sussex. It is a sad indictment on West Sussex County Council (WSCC) that their financial decisions have resulted in the inability of WSFRS to fulfill its core functions.

“For too long WSCC have treated the fire and rescue service with disdain, disregarding the firefighters who risk their lives to protect the community.

“We call on WSCC to reverse the dangerous cuts they have imposed on WSFRS and to fund the service properly. Without this, the deep rooted issues highlighted by the inspectorate will not be rectified.”
 

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