12 September 2014

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFR) has announced that it is to employ a ‘transformation team’ to deliver £2 million in savings.

The team will focus on making cuts to bureaucracy in order to save money and it is believed they will focus on finance, fleet maintenance, training and back room operations.

EFRS has already made an estimated £1.3 million in savings this financial year and has cut two fire engines and 32 firefighters.

The team will cost the service £200,000 and will be formed by five existing employees, three internal secondments and an external post.  

Speaking to The Argus, Simon Herbert, Chairman of the East Sussex Fire Brigade Union, commented: “Putting scarce funds into yet more back-office staff to reorganise our firefighters is wholly inappropriate at a time when we are losing a fire engine and 24 firefighters in Brighton and Hove.”

Commercial buildings, non-domestic and multi-occupancy premises in England and Wales are already forced to undertake a 'suitable and sufficient' fire risk assessment carried out under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.

While the overwhelming majority of premises do this, if the assessment is thought to have been carried out to an insufficient extent, the Responsible Person can face an unlimited fine or up to two years in prison.