LETTER: In our thoughts

THE thoughts and prayers of everyone at West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service continue to be with the families and friends of those killed and injured in the Shoreham Air Show tragedy.

The initial stages of this incident were extremely challenging for our crews. In the days and weeks since this awful event, our teams have continued to operate at the crash site, working in partnership with numerous agencies, including other emergency service colleagues, the military, the AAIB and coroner’s teams.

We anticipate today (Friday) will be the last day of fire and rescue team work at the scene, although work will continue for many of our colleagues, and this presents us with an opportunity to thank everyone for the overwhelming support we have received.

In my 27 years of service, I have never experienced such an outpouring of gratitude and respect as I have received on behalf of West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service over the past few weeks – from letters and emails, to words of thanks in the street, and from visitors at a number of our local fire stations.

I am extremely proud of everyone involved in the service – from those on the frontline and our colleagues at the Sussex Control Centre, who had such a difficult role; to firefighters across the county, who continued to keep communities safe on a day-to-day basis while we provided support at Shoreham, and for our teams who have been involved in the painstaking recovery work on-site up until this point. We have been truly humbled and thank you for every message of support.

Sean Ruth

Chief Fire Officer and Executive Director of Communities and Public Protection