Firefighter jobs at risk in West Sussex amid budget cuts

Fire engine generic Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption The proposals will be considered by the county council in September

The number of firefighters in West Sussex could be cut under draft plans to save £1.6m in the year 2015-16.

How fire engines are crewed and staff shift patterns could also be altered, but all fire stations would stay open.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue said the changes would not affect its response to emergencies or response standards.

Public views are being sought in a three-month consultation before the proposals are considered by West Sussex County Council in September.

Councillor Lionel Barnard, cabinet member for residents' services, said: "Demand has changed and the types of incidents the service attends have also changed."

The proposals include a reduction in management and administrative support staff and the closure of the retained unit at Crawley fire station, with the loss of 10 firefighter posts and the removal of its third fire engine.

In addition, one of two immediate response fire engines would be relocated from Horsham to Littlehampton, making it a 24-hour immediate response station.

An immediate response fire engine was moved from Horley to Horsham in 2013 as an interim measure.

There are also plans to remove the second fire engines at Midhurst, Petworth and Storrington, leaving one fire engine and 4x4 vehicle at each station, which are crewed by retained firefighters.

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