This is a joint position statement issued by East Sussex Fire and Rescue, Surrey Fire and Rescue and West Sussex Fire and Rescue.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is proactively engaging with control room staff and their trade unions, seeking to resolve a trade dispute with the FBU concerning crewing levels in the Joint Fire Control for Surrey and West Sussex.
Surrey Fire and Rescue Service strongly believed that it had finalised an acceptable proposal with the FBU on 23 December 2019 on all the points they had raised regarding Joint Fire Control. It is therefore disappointing that the FBU have now notified Surrey FRS that their proposal will not be agreed, further talks are planned for next week.
Both East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are assured that Surrey Fire and Rescue Service will continue to work hard to resolve this position, and once this has happened, detailed discussions can begin around future crewing required to provide a mobilising service for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
We would like to reassure residents that there have been no reports of any safety critical delays to response times to any emergency. The welfare of all the Joint Fire Control staff is a priority for everyone involved.
East Sussex and West Sussex are confident that Surrey will provide a resilient and reliable mobilising service, appropriately staffed, providing better value for the taxpayers of the three counties and providing more opportunities for common ways of working and operational benefits.