Every four years, the West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service makes its plans as to how it will work to keep the county as safe as possible. This is set out in a document called the Community Risk Management Plan, which looks at all foreseeable risks and sets out the Fire Service’s key priorities for the next four years. The draft 2022-2025 Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) is now out for public consultation and it would be great to see many responses and feedback from Crawley residents.
Our fire and rescue service is proposing to increase firefighter availability at some stations where there currently isn’t fulltime firefighter weekend cover, in order to better align its resources to the risks within the county. This will allow the service to enhance its emergency response, as well as its vital prevention and protection activity within the community.
Crawley Fire Station is crewed entirely by wholetime firefighters 24 hours a day every day of the year, but some other fire stations are not 24/7 and make use solely of retained firefighters during some periods. No one area acts in isolation, so a strengthening of fire cover in one area benefits every part of West Sussex in providing more resilience and capability, especially if there is a major incident or multiple incidents across the county on the same day.
The key six proposals set out in the CRMP are:
•Enhancing the retained (on-call) operating model.
•Weekend protection, prevention and response improvements.
•Improving protection, prevention and response performance in rural areas, where in recent years we have seen some tragic house fires.
•How WSFRS should deal with false alarms from automatic fire systems.
•When Emergency Response Standards should be reviewed.
•How WSFRS proposes to undertake a review of their specialist appliance requirements to consider current and future risks to firefighter and public safety.
You can find more information on the six proposals and take part in the consultation online at https://yourvoice.westsussex.gov.uk/crmp or simply search online for “west sussex crmp consultation” where it will be easily found. The closing date for responses is Friday 21 January 2022.
Councillor Duncan Crow, Leader of Crawley Borough Council Consevative Group
8th December 2021