Brighton and Hove 999 fire calls to go to new control centre

Posted On 07 Jun 2012 at 10:06 pm

Emergency calls to the fire service from people in Brighton and Hove will be handled in a new control centre from September next year.

Fire chiefs agreed today (Thursday 7 June) to move to a new base in Haywards Heath as part of a plan to improve control centre staffing levels while saving money.

The new control centre will be based at the existing fire station in Haywards Heath.

It will handle calls on behalf of both East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.

Earlier this year a proposed merger of the two fire services fell through but the plan to create a joint control centre won support across the board.

The proposal will be paid for with help from a £3.6 million grant from the Department for Communities and Local Government.

In East Sussex alone – including Brighton and Hove – the control centre staff currently based in Eastbourne handle more than 21,000 calls a year.

In response to those 999 calls they send crews to about 14,000 incidents. The incidents include fires and road accidents.

Councillor Christine Field, the West Sussex County Council cabinet member for public protection, said: “I’m pleased Haywards Heath Fire Station will be the venue for the new Sussex Control Centre.

“The town is geographically central to both East and West Sussex and its location creates equal opportunity for staff in the two existing control rooms to consider relocating to the Sussex Control Centre.

“This will help to retain the valuable skills and control experience in both services and, in addition, maintain local knowledge from across both counties – something that was important to the public during consultation.

“A single fire control centre in Sussex will have more staff on duty than either of the two current control rooms as well as save money.

“It will also enhance working with the police and other agencies during an emergency.”

 

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