Busy weekend for fire service as temperatures soar


Release date: 10 August 2020

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is encouraging people to act sensibly, stay alert and to stay safe during the heatwave. It comes after a busy weekend for the service.

The service dealt with a significant spike in demand over the course of the weekend, responding to a number of large incidents while also supporting neighbouring fire and rescue services.

Between 6pm on Friday and 9am Monday, call handlers in Joint Fire Control dealt with 101 separate incidents across West Sussex alone, including fires, road traffic collisions and false alarms.

The service was also mobilised to help support the major incident at Chobham Common in Surrey, a large fire in Newhaven, East Sussex, and incidents in Hampshire at Liphook and Hindhead.

The Met Office is warning that the risk of wildfires is likely to remain very high for the next few days. Residents are urged to ensure they do not unnecessarily put themselves or others at risk of fire and to follow some simple safety advice to prevent an emergency at home, in the garden and when out and about:

  • Don’t burn garden waste or start fires unnecessarily – they can get out of hand very quickly
  • Dispose of cigarettes responsibly
  • Ensure BBQs are sited away from fences, property or hedgerows. In this dry weather, all it takes is a spark.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer, Jon Lacey, said: “With the exceptionally hot weather over the weekend, we experienced a high demand for our services. With more warm weather forecast to come this week, we expect this demand to remain high.

“We work closely with a number of emergency services partners to plan for situations like this, so that we can put robust plans in place to ensure we are able to maintain effective fire cover and keep our residents safe.

“Our mutual aid agreement with all of our neighbouring fire and rescue services means that we are able to support each other in our times of need to ensure resources can be mobilised to where they are needed most.

“I know that many of our crews went above and beyond what was expected of them over the course of the weekend to ensure that we were able to support our neighbouring services, while also being able to attend our own calls quickly and effectively. I would like to thank all of them for their hard work this weekend.”

For more fire safety advice see: https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire-emergencies-and-crime/west-sussex-fire-and-rescue-service/home-fire-safety/seasonal-safety-advice/

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