East Sussex fire service wins two national awards

The fire service for East Sussex came away as double winners at the iESE Public Sector Transformation Awards this week.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 2:41 pm

At the awards in London on Wednesday (September 8), East Sussex Fire & Rescue (ESFRS) was named the UK Fire and Rescue Service of the Year 2021, on the basis of the performance of the GP Practices and Behavioural Insights projects.

It also won gold in the Data Insight category for the service’s GP Practices project, which sees the service visit the homes of vulnerable people.

Dawn Whittaker, chief fire officer, said, “We should all be proud of all the fantastic work that East Sussex Fire and Rescue do to improve community safety and reduce harm and winning double gold at last night’s awards is the icing on the cake.

CFO Dawn Whittaker and ESFRS staff collecting one of the awards SUS-211009-132116001

“These national awards are open to all of the public sector and so being shortlisted alone is a huge honour let alone achieving gold in both categories. “Both the GP (Data insights) and the ADF reduction (Brighton Tribe) projects have increased awareness and directly contributed to people being safer.

“So many staff have been involved in delivering this work but I will make special mention of the Community Safety and Communications teams that were integral to these two projects using data and communication in innovative ways.”

The ‘Brighton Tribe’ programme offers people living in Brighton all kinds of benefits in return for receiving occasional safety-related messages from the service.

An ESFRS spokesperson said, “We saw an increase in awareness of fire safety in the Brighton Tribe group, public engagement with our service has increased and we have changed our other communications.”

Lisa Priestman, community safety manager, said, “Attending the awards evening was a great honour. What an achievement to be nominated for two awards but to win them both feels amazing, I couldn’t be prouder of our staff and the service to be recognised for the hard work they put in each year and will continue to provide year on year.”

Sophie Hepworth, partnership and engagement business partner central, said, “Our collaborative work with GP practices enables us to offer home safety visits to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities, who can be at an increased risk of an accidental fire in their home. We are hoping that this award will encourage other GP practices in our area to come on board with the scheme.”