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West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service


West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service works to make our community a safer place to live, work and enjoy. We do this through a combination of safety initiatives to prevent fires and accidents happening, and responding to emergencies when things do go wrong.

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.

Logo for West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

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 £32 million, the county has 25 fire stations that operate under three different crewing systems – retained, whole time and variable – and all our stations provide 24-hour cover. Throughout West Sussex there are a total of 800 operational officers and firefighters, plus 115 staff in key support roles.

Our Service Headquarters and Principal Leadership Team are situated in Chichester, but we have staff working in different locations across West Sussex. Two Area Commanders (North and South) and five District Teams enable closer partnership work with the district and borough councils.

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.

The Government's agenda for the Fire Service also requires even greater regional collaboration, and this has been formalised through the creation of Regional Management Boards.