Axe looms over fire cover at weekends

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Todmorden fire station will lose its firefighters over the weekend under plans being considered by the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Authority.

In an update to the authority’s Integrated Risk Management Planning to the community safety committee nine options are being considered to cut 65 posts across the region.

Options which are being considered for the fire station at Todmorden, Normanton and Garforth, is to convert them into day nucleus stations. This would see the potential reduction of 23 posts across te stations.

The report said: “WYFRA has reviewed its emergency cover provision and made some difficult but evidence based decisions to change the location of fire engines, the duty systems employed and the number and types of emergency vehicles available to respond.

“An analysis of the changes implemented to date indicates that the impact on community safety has been in accordance with that predicted in the original modelling. The approved changes will also deliver financial savings of approximately £14 million.

“As WYFRS reach the final stages of the implementation of the current IRMP, the overall objective of delivering large financial savings whilst minimising the impact on community safety and quality of service is being achieved

“The next step is to rationalise these further and select the most appropriate combination of the options to achieve the necessary establishment post reductions whilst minimising the impact on service delivery. “

Todmorden would provide a whole time response Monday – Friday when the fire station is occupied. Outside of these hours and the weekend there would be no fire cover.

Another model considered would see fire cover provided by retained duty system firefighters. The response profile is similar to the current day crew model, except that the weekend would be crewed entirely by RDS firefighters.