West Sussex County Council’s latest proposals to make further cuts in the Fire & Rescue Service, including reducing the number of Firefighters at Crawley Fire Station, removal of a fire appliance and closure of the stations retained section will dramatically reduce both fire cover and resilience in the Crawley area and across the county.
Coming on top of previous cuts that saw the removal of two fire appliances from Horley Fire Station, a consequence of these latest proposals will mean that in future not all the remaining appliances and specialist vehicles based at Crawley will be able to be crewed at the same time.
As a recently retired fire officer who has attended many incidents in the Crawley and Gatwick areas and who still cares passionately about the service, I believe these proposals cross the line in the sand in relation to what is acceptable,even in the current tough finical climate for local authorities.
The dramatic increase in both house building and road traffic in the Crawley area , potential expansion at Gatwick , terrorist threat and impact of climate change highlighted by recent flooding all have the potential to increase demand on limited fire and rescue resources.
The need to do more with less unfortunately reaches a point where you just get less and sadly from a fire and rescue service and public safety perspective that is likely to have serious consequences.
Kevin Trust , Yapton