Joint 999 control centre for fire services in West Sussex and Surrey gets go-ahead

Crews were called to a fire at a Burgess Hill property today (February 19)
Crews were called to a fire at a Burgess Hill property today (February 19)

A joint 999 control centre and mobilisation system for fire services in West Sussex and Surrey has been given the go-ahead.

The decision was made by Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for safer, stronger communities today (Friday February 1).

Crews were called to a fire at a Burgess Hill property today (February 19)

Crews were called to a fire at a Burgess Hill property today (February 19)

West Sussex’s current centre is run at Haywards Heath in partnership with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, but this arrangement will end in February 2020 after the county council terminated the contract.

Surrey fire service’s headquarters is based in Reigate.

Mrs Kennard said: “The safety of residents in West Sussex is an absolute priority and that’s why it’s important we have a fire service that can mobilise quickly and effectively.

“We have taken a thorough and in-depth look at the options available and the one we are proposing is tried and tested, while offering good value for money.”

Command and mobilising systems are used to dispatch fire and rescue service resources to emergency incidents.

The decision follows a full assessment of the options available for alternative mobilising systems with other fire and rescue services.

According to the council the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service system has a proven track record for reliability, has the capacity to handle additional call volume and demonstrates good value for money.

The aim is to migrate to the new system by mid-February 2020.

The decision is subject to a seven day call-in period.

At a meeting earlier this week West Sussex’s chief fire officer Gavin Watts told members it would be business as usual for the fire service while the changes were made.