Thursday, 13 December 2012

East Sussex Fire Authority decides not to go ahead with changes within Hastings Borough

During the Fire Authority meeting held on Thursday December 13th, East Sussex Fire Authority have decided not to go ahead with the following proposals after considering the findings of a comprehensive report proposing service improvements within the Hastings Borough at the Fire Authority meeting on September 13th.
  • To relocate the Wholetime fire appliance from The Ridge fire station to Bohemia Road fire station.
  • Maintain the Retained Duty System fire appliance and Land Rover at The Ridge fire station on the Retained Duty System, with its existing crewing arrangements.
A public consultation regarding the recommendations ran from Friday 14th September for a twelve week period, with its outcomes discussed by the Fire Authority at this morning’s meeting.

Members of the Fire Authority carefully considered a comprehensive report produced by the Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Des Prichard, which provided a number of options for consideration by the Fire Authority. They expressed their appreciation to Officers in producing such a detailed and a comprehensive report. 

Members of the Fire Authority then weighed up the contents of the report alongside the outcomes of the public consultation before coming to its decision. Members of the public were also present at the meeting and were able to submit questions.

The review had been requested by the Authority as part of East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s Integrated Risk Management process and contained within its Medium-Term Plan 2011/12 - 2015/16.

The Chairman of the Fire Authority, Cllr. John Livings, said: “The purpose of the review was to determine whether we could introduce any alternative arrangements or methods of service delivery that enabled the Service to be better positioned to responding to life threatening incidents and provide an enhanced service provision to the most vulnerable communities within Hastings.

“Members of the Fire Authority have listened to the views of the public, our staff and recognised trade unions and have carefully considered the outcomes of the public consultation, along with recommendations from Officers within the Service.

“East Sussex Fire Authority has today decided not to relocate the Wholetime fire appliance from The Ridge fire station to Bohemia Road fire station.

“Whilst noting the financial implications of this decision, Members agreed an alternative motion, which was that the Authority continues to operate from the fire station at The Ridge, maintaining a wholetime appliance on a 24/7 basis.

“In addition, Fire Authority Members requested that the Chief Fire Officer & Chief Executive undertake community safety activities in the rural communities near to The Ridge to provide further reassurances to the public, that safety is our primary concern.”

The Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Gary Walsh, said: “The outcomes of the public consultation have been carefully considered. All views have been taken into account.

“We will continue to work with our most vulnerable communities and also provide fire safety advice to local people and businesses to help prevent fires from occurring in the first place.

“Over the next three years, the Service will continue to review different options in enhancing service provision. There will be no drop in standards and safety will not be compromised, either for the public or for our firefighters.”

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