This year, the recognition of the value of our front-line workers has felt very apparent. From our health and care workers to refuse collectors, from supermarket staff and delivery drivers to our emergency services and everyone who kept our country going during this difficult year, we have all appreciated them.
Our emergency services are rightly held in high esteem and while we hope never to need their assistance, most of us will at some point in our lives. It’s reassuring to know that they are there for us should we need them. It is wholly right that we give them the best possible training and the best equipment.
The West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is an integral part of West Sussex County Council. Last week really was a great week for our fire and rescue service with a huge amount of investment unveiled. On Tuesday, the county council’s cabinet agreed exciting proposals for a £20.85 million brand new training centre for existing firefighters and new recruits that will also have a new Horsham Fire Station on site with access straight onto the A24, improving overall county-wide response times.
This first-rate new training centre will ensure that West Sussex firefighters will continue to have the skills and knowledge to keep residents safe for years to come. These facilities will immerse firefighters in real-life operational situations making them better equipped and skilled to keep us all safe. It will also let firefighters train in realistic scenarios including working at height. While this training centre will help firefighters to keep us safe, it will also provide valuable training experience that helps to keep them safer when dealing with dangerous fires.
Also last week, on Thursday, West Sussex County Council unveiled seven brand new fire engines that had been commissioned for £1.7 million. These new 12-tonne fire engines are smaller, more responsive to drive, faster to set up and with greater rescue capabilities. Stationed at Crawley, East Grinstead, Haywards Heath, Henfield and Worthing, these new appliances will allow better access when attending incidents in more urban built-up areas and allow easier manoeuvring.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Conservative Group
23rd September 2020