Consultation shapes county's fire cover plans

12-week listening exercise concludes

Councillors will consider record levels of public feedback on radical proposals to reform fire cover across West Yorkshire.

During a 12-week formal consultation exercise (which concluded on 30 November 2012), West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue officers met with members of the community including district, town and parish councils, MPs and employee representative bodies to discuss the eleven proposals and listen to the views of local people.

This year community engagement attracted 12,037 formal representations, four-times that received during consultation undertaken in 2011 – a ‘listening exercise with legs’ enabling concerns to be heard and suggestions presented by the community.

In light of the consultation and following professional analysis, Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling will ask West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority to consider changes to the draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan 2013-14 at its next meeting on 21 December 2012. If approved, the plan would be implemented between 2013 and 2020.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling re-emphasised the reasons for changes to emergency cover:

“The success of the brigade’s fire safety work over the past 10 years means there is undeniable scope for change. Accidental fire deaths and injuries are at an all-time low and some stations are now half as busy as they were a few years ago so I’m confident we can rationalise and modernise the service whilst still providing effective fire cover.

“We know we have to find cuts of between £8-12m over the next two years – and already have plans in place -- but all the messages coming out of central government project further reductions in financial support for local authorities up to 2020,” he explained.

“I believe that these proposals represent changes that will have the least impact on emergency cover for the county, yet contribute significantly to addressing the financial gap the Authority must address.” 

The consultation and proposals to changes to emergency cover will be considered by the Fire Authority on 21 December 2012. A summary follows and the full reports can be viewed at:

http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/uploads/assets/media/pdfs/minutes_agendas_reports/2ea56faeef66a2e8320c021f0b2fab4d2c5382ac.pdf#page=91 (PDF Document)

http://www.westyorksfire.gov.uk/uploads/assets/media/pdfs/minutes_agendas_reports/a0ed47655c7f2ddd161c13d05b8bc321e203d4b9.pdf (PDF Document)

 

 

Draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan 2013-14

 

 

Proposals following consultation

 

BRADFORD DISTRICT:

 

Rationalise emergency cover in the Keighley and Haworth areas by closing Haworth Fire Station and removing one fire engine from Keighley.

 

Remove the second fire engine from Keighley, with the closure of Haworth fire station being suspended for a maximum of two years to allow a detailed feasibility study to be completed on any possible alternatives.                             

Introduce a fire response unit (FRU) at Fairweather Green to replace one fire engine.

 

 

Remove one fire engine from Fairweather Green and replace this with a Fire Response Unit (to be dual-crewed with the Command Unit and Welfare Unit).                                                            

Replace one engine at Odsal with the command unit vehicle.

 

Remove one fire engine from Odsal.

 

Merge Shipley and Idle fire stations at a new site between the two.

 

Merge Shipley and Idle fire stations at a site in the vicinity of the Leeds Road/ Cragg Road/ Briggate area.                                                  

 

LEEDS DISTRICT:

 

Merge Hunslet and Morley fire stations at a two-appliance station between the two.

 

 

 

Retain Hunslet and Morley fire stations in their current locations and remove one fire engine from Hunslet.

 

The Day Crew staffing system will apply at Morley and the current wholetime shift duty system will apply at Hunslet, ensuring immediate response 24 hours per day.

 

Remove an engine from Stanningley.

 

Remove the second fire engine at Stanningley and replace it with the Fire Response Unit for Leeds District (to be dual-crewed with the High Volume Pump, Hose Layer and Welfare Unit). and Welfare Unit.  

 

Merge Rothwell and Garforth at a one-appliance station between the two.

Retain Rothwell and Garforth fire stations in their current locations. The Day Crew staffing system will apply at both fire stations.

 

Merge Cookridge and Moortown at a one-appliance station between the two.

Remains the same – ensuring a suitable location to provide appropriate cover for both areas. 

 

Draft Integrated Risk Management Action Plan 2013-14

 

Proposals following consultation

 

WAKEFIELD DISTRICT:

 

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

 

Remove one fire engine from Wakefield and provide a fully equipped Resilience Pump which can be utilised when required as an alternative to the Combined Aerial Rescue Pump; and

Build a new fire station for Ossett at Junction 40 of the M1 motorway.

 

KIRKLEES DISTRICT:

 

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

Remains the same.

 

CALDERDALE DISTRICT:

 

Align emergency cover in the Halifax area to risk by removing one engine from Halifax.

Remove one fire engine from Halifax and provide a fully equipped Resilience Pump which can be utilised when required as an alternative to the Combined Aerial Rescue Pump.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Day crew staffing system:

Day crewing is a duty system that provides cover from the fire station during the day and requires firefighters to live within 5 minutes of the station for incident response at night.

Dual crewing:

Where firefighters crew a fire engine or fire response unit and also crew other special appliances that are extremely valuable, but are required less frequently.  Such practice is widely used across West Yorkshire.

Funding:

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority is dependent on central government for 60 per cent of its funding.

 For the full WYFRA reports visit http://www.wyfs.co.uk/full-authority and view the agenda reports for 21 December.

Please contact:

Public Information Office to confirm attendance and interview requirements for 21 December, following the Authority meeting: 01274 655 717/807 or 07766 652 625.