Union opposes plans by West Yorkshire Fire Authority to close 11 stations at cost of 250 jobs


Plans to close fire stations in West Yorkshire will put residents’ and firefighters’ lives at risk, the FBU has warned.

Last year West Yorkshire Fire Authority closed ten stations, scrapped seven frontline fire engines and got rid of 155 firefighters. It has now announced plans to close a further eleven stations, scrap 12 fire engines and lose another 250 firefighters.

Acting FBU West Yorkshire brigade secretary David Williams said: “These cuts will slow response times, and in firefighting, seconds count. A few seconds’ delay can be the difference between saving a life and failing to save it.

“After last year’s announcement of station closures they’ve planned over the next few years, firefighters across the county raised concerns for the safety of our communities and that of firefighters responding to emergencies. To propose a further raft of station closures and the loss of a further 250 frontline emergency firefighters is irresponsible beyond belief.

“Firefighters are members of these communities too and they know the impact these proposals will make if they are approved by the Fire Authority on Friday.

“Closing two fire stations and then building a new one to cover both station grounds means that fire crews will face longer journeys to arrive at emergency incidents, and longer response times will cost lives. We’ve already seen a significant increase in attendance times for the first appliance arriving from 5 minutes 41 seconds to at least 7 minutes.”

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