Fire service control centre set for closure

TWO Sussex fire services have agreed to share an emergency control centre in a bid to save millions of pounds.

East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services will now take all emergency calls from their joint Sussex control centre in Haywards Heath, a project which has £3.6 million of funding from a government grant.

There were previously two sites, Chichester and Eastbourne, and 20 members of staff have been lost in the move, some through voluntary redundancy, others through retirement.

The joint venture could save both services £2 million each and in July 2013, East Sussex Fire and Rescue identified that over the next five years it would need to make a saving of £7.1 million.

Assistant chief officer, Cheryl Rolph, said: “East and West Sussex Fire & Rescue Services have approached a new milestone in the joint Sussex Control Centre – a project which will deliver long term savings while continuing to meet the needs of the community.

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Chief Fire Officer and Chief Executive, Des Prichard, said: “Both Services will continue to provide a high performing Fire and Rescue Service to meet the changing needs of our respective local communities. This is a task being delivered against a declining budget, so by working closer together within our respective Control functions we are able to deliver greater efficiency savings.”