The fire service has signed up to Mind’s Blue Light pledge, which demonstrates its commitment to challenge mental health stigma and promote the positive wellbeing of West Sussex’s firefighters and employees.

Gavin Watts, Chief Fire Officer, said: “I am really pleased to make this pledge to show that we, as a fire service, can make a commitment to our staff that we will support them and their mental health whenever it may be required.

“Working for the emergency services is one of the best jobs in the world but it can also mean working in hugely difficult circumstances where staff are exposed to traumatic situations.

“Signing the pledge reinforces our ongoing commitment to the wellbeing of our staff.”

The pledge was signed by the fire service’s Senior Leadership Team ahead of World Mental Day on 10 October.

Debbie Kennard, Cabinet Member for Safer, Stronger Communities, said: “I am so pleased that we have been able to support this scheme. Our firefighters work in extremely challenging conditions so it’s really important we work together to provide the best possible support services for them.”

More information about Mind’s Blue Light pledge can be found at

Mind carried out research into the culture of mental health within emergency services and their results showed that 87.5% of personnel had experienced stress and poor mental health while working for blue light services.

West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.