Fire union vows to fight cuts

Halifax Fire Station
Halifax Fire Station

The Fire Brigade’s Union claim the arguments put forward for cutting back service provision are flawed.

Last week Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling published his draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan which is now open to public consultation.

He is under pressure to save millions of pounds across West Yorkshire and says reform is possible because of the dramatic reduction in incidents, accidental fire deaths and injuries across the county over the past decade.

Calderdale will lose one pump from the already agreed merger of Brighouse and Elland fire stations into a new station at Rastrick.

It is recommended Halifax Fire Station retains its specialist Combined Aerial Rescue Pump and its second fire engine be removed.

The fire engine at Illingworth will be kept along with a retained presence at Mytholmroyd and Todmorden.

But, David Williams, brigade secretary for the Fire Brigades’ Union West Yorkshire Branch, said while incidents had fallen call-outs to other areas were not included in the totting-up.

“How many incidents have Halifax been called to in Kirklees and Bradford?” he said.

“They do not report these figures and certainly, the special CARP vehicle at Halifax is frequently required elsewhere because Kirklees has not got the same capability.”

He said risk factors alone showed Halifax deserved two fire engines and the Union would be campaigning hard and speaking to councils urging support to block cuts to the fire service.

Other area recommendations: Bradford - Close Haworth Fire Station and remove one fire engine from Keighley. Merge Shipley and Idle. Replace one engine at Odsal with the command unit vehicle. Introduce a fire response unit at Fairweather Green to replace one fire engine.

Leeds - Merge Hunslet and Morley. Merge Rothwell and Garforth. Merge Cookridge and Moortown. Remove an engine from Stanningley

Wakefield - Rationalise emergency cover by building a replacement fire station for Ossett closer to the city and removing one engine from Wakefield.

Kirklees - Rationalise cover in the Colne Valley by closing Marsden Fire Station.