Residents in Adur and Mid Sussex will see an increase in the number of fire engines immediately available to respond to incidents in their areas.
Fire stations in Burgess Hill, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath and Shoreham will now provide an immediate response capability from 7am until 7pm, seven days a week – an increase from the previous level of immediate cover which was provided five days a week.
Outside of these times the stations will continue to be served by retained (on-call) firefighters, who will provide cover between 7pm to 7am, seven days a week.
The changes will provide greater flexibility and capacity for completing vital prevention and protection work, such as carrying out Safe and Well Visits, delivering community safety events, and working with businesses to support their fire safety responsibilities.
The enhancement will also improve the service’s emergency response times by 13 seconds to all incidents across West Sussex.
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Sabrina Cohen-Hatton, said: “I am delighted to be delivering on our second strategic priority which has been set out in our Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) 2022 – 2026. The CRMP conveys our commitments to those who live, work and visit West Sussex; and this second deliverable will help ensure those within the county continue to live safely.
“Data shows that incident demand is highly consistent across all days of the week. Therefore, improving the level of immediate cover within the service will benefit not just those who live in Adur and Mid Sussex, but all those who live within the West Sussex as the change aims improve response times by 13 seconds, county-wide.
“From the hours of 7pm until 7am when immediate response cover isn’t available at our four day-crewed stations, fire engines will continue to be crewed by our fantastic teams of retained firefighters who are on-call and respond to emergencies from their homes or places of work.”