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About West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

About West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

West Sussex County Council is the Fire Authority with statutory responsibility under the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 to provide a Fire and Rescue Service for this county. West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is the specialist department of the County Council that carries out this role, and whose main aim is to reduce the risks of people in West Sussex being killed or seriously injured.

We also work to minimise the impact of emergencies on business and the environment. All this is done through a combination of our emergency response and targeted safety initiatives to prevent accidents and emergencies happening in the first instance.

With an annual budget of £28 million, the county has 25 fire stations that operate under 3 different crewing systems – retained, wholetime and variable – and all our stations provide 24-hour cover. Throughout West Sussex there are a total of 750 operational firefighters and officers, plus 117 staff in key support roles.

Our Service Headquarters and Senior Leadership Team are situated in Chichester, but we have staff working in different locations across West Sussex. 

In addition to this we have specialist teams working in community protection, fire investigation and arson reduction, legislative enforcement of fire safety laws, and workshops that maintain our fleet of 40 fire engines plus other specialist vehicles.

Although we are financed and run by the County Council, our performance is also subject to national guidelines. The Government's priorities and targets for the Fire Service are set out in the National Framework document.

Supporting document

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Service Plan

Fire and Rescue Services in the UK are required to assess the risks to their local community and publish an Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) on how they propose to reduce the number of people killed or injured in emergencies.

In West Sussex we incorporate the principles of an IRMP into a 5-year Service Plan which explains how we will achieve our vision of making our county a safer place to live, work and visit.

We take into account the requirements of the Government, partner agencies and local communities. We also look at the risks and pressures facing West Sussex and the Fire and Rescue Service as illustrated in the County Profile.

From this assessment of risk we also set out what we want to achieve each year in an annual Action Plan.

Supporting documents

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Strategic aims

We want to make West Sussex a safer place to live, work and visit, achievable through our 5 strategic aims.

  1. Reducing the number of emergency incidents and their consequences
  2. Working with our partners to build a safer, stronger, healthier and more sustainable community
  3. Safe, healthy and competent employees
  4. Value for money services
  5. Reducing our impact on the environment

How will this be achieved?

  • We will be a highly effective emergency response service with well-focussed prevention activities.
  • We will work with our partners and our community.
  • We will ensure we are well trained, well informed, and reflect the diversity of the community we serve.
  • We will deliver our service efficiently.
  • We will continue to develop a sustainable organisation with a culture that values the environment.

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