ESFRS responds to control room merger

ESFRS responds to control room merger

EAST SUSSEX Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS) elaborated on the recent announcement that West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (WSFRS) will be ending their control room partnership.

Last week, a merger between WSFRS and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) control rooms was backed, eight years after WSFRS merged its control room with ESFRS, and the year after a new system was put in place, which saw WSFRS terminate its contract.

ESFRS responded to the claims in the original story: ‘The Sussex Control Centre continues to provide a control room service to both East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services while proposals for the future are developed and considered. There are a number of areas which are part of ongoing legal discussions with WSFRS, including the future of staff currently providing the service. No agreement has been reached with regards to rent or a number of other financial arrangements.

‘West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service entered into a joint project to deliver a shared Sussex Control Centre with East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and has at every stage been an equal partner in decision-making for the project and the arrangement was due to remain in place until early 2021. In August 2018, West Sussex County Council informed us it wishes to end the commissioned delivery of the control room service by ESFRS. The 18 month notice period is due to end in February 2020.

‘East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is separately developing a number of proposals for its future mobilising strategy which will be fully scrutinised and assessed before being introduced in 2021, when the current agreement for the Sussex Control Centre was originally due to end. We will continue to answer 999 calls and respond to emergencies as normal during the transition periods.’