Aerial appliance at Halifax fire station to be axed under new review

Halifax fire station
Halifax fire station

Halifax fire station is set to lose one of its appliances under proposals by the West West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

At a meeting of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (WYFRA) it has approved a public consultation on two suggestions from the Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP) relating to organisational change.

The IRMP looks at the levels of risk within West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) and puts forward suggestions to make the most of resources, and allocate them where they are needed.

Currently there are plans to reduce the number of the service’s “aerial appliances” – engines with large, cherry picker style attachments to deal with fire from above, from five to four.

The appliance currently based at Halifax will not be replaced in 2023, although appliances in Bradford, Huddersfield, Wakefield and Leeds will remain.

The service’s resilience fleet – a fleet of fully equipped fire engine that is available to be used at short notice, will be reduced from 11 to just 5. And there will also be a change in shift patterns at South Kirkby, Normanton and Castleford fire stations.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Nick Smith said: “We welcome any feedback that the public want to provide on these two proposals and look forward to hearing what they have to say.

“None of the ideas we’ve suggested will see any changes to the number of firefighters here at WYFRS, and will help to improve efficiency and effectiveness.

"There’s a variety of ways to get in touch with us so we hope the public will let us know their thoughts – and of course we’re happy to answer any concerns or questions they may have.”

He added aerial appliances were needed 100 times last year, and the service could cope with the reduction from five to four, although response times where aerial appliances are needed may increase in rural areas of Calderdale.

Increasing the capacity in the Fire Protection Team, which is responsible for making sure businesses and public venues are safe from fire, is also one of a series of changes that West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has proposed in a shake up of local services.

The report to the West Yorkshire Fire Authority revealed that the team has recently been depleted due to staff leaving for better paid private sector jobs following a post Grenfell tower recruitment drive.