East and West Sussex fire merged call centre site announced

The location of the merged East and West fire service emergency call centre has been announced.

East Sussex and West Sussex fire will start taking 999 calls at Haywards Heath fire station from September 2013.

Managers said the merged operation would allow more staff to be on duty, help to cut costs and provide a more advanced operation.

The fire services said there would be some job losses but they did not have a figure at this stage.

'Maintain local knowledge'

Christine Field, of West Sussex County Council, said: "The town is geographically central to both East and West Sussex and its location creates equal opportunity for staff in the two existing control rooms to consider relocating to the Sussex Control Centre.

"This will help to retain the valuable skills and control experience in both services and, in addition, maintain local knowledge from across both counties - something that was important to the public during consultation.

"A single fire control centre in Sussex will have more staff on duty than either of the two current control rooms, as well as save money.

"It will also enhance working with the police and other agencies during an emergency."

John Livings, chairman of East Sussex Fire Authority: "The move towards a single control room for Sussex has arisen due to our shared desire to deliver the best possible fire and rescue services to the communities of Sussex, as well as the need to reduce costs in public spending.

"The new Sussex Control Centre provides an opportunity to deliver improvements in attendance times, the provision of information to the incident and improve the co-ordination of operational resources across the two services."

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