Dedicated firefighters championed as new station opens in Shipley

The new Shipley Fire Station was officially opened yesterday (Monday, June 19), by Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes, who also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the ‘dedicated and heroic men and women’ who work for the Fire Service.

Councillor Hughes spoke about the tragic events at Grenfell Tower in London last week and how this publically highlighted the value of our firefighters who also risk their lives to make West Yorkshire safer.

Earlier in the day West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) took part in a national minute’s silence as a mark of respect for all affected by the devastating fire.

Also doing the honours at the opening was Chief Fire Officer (CFO) John Roberts, who said the station represents a significant investment of almost £4.5m.

He said the new station is an example of the Service’s commitment to ‘adapting, relocating and reviewing’ resources to match the change in demand and the risk profile of the communities it serves.

The ceremony was attended by numerous officials and dignitaries including West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins and the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire Mark Burns-Williamson.

The new station, in Shipley Fields Road, will replace the former Idle and Shipley stations.

It became operational at the end of May, since which time crews have settled in well to their new surroundings.

The station operates a wholetime system (meaning firefighters provide 24/7 cover from the station) and the team is made up of a Station Commander (who also manages Bradford fire station), 24 firefighters and a station clerk who provides administrative support.

It comprises of offices, training and community facilities and an appliance bay that houses one water ladder fire engine.

The station covers an area in the southern part of Bradford District including Manningham and Shipley and is made up of mainly residential housing and a mix of commercial premises.

CFO John Roberts said: “West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is continually improving and matching the change in demand and risk profile of our communities – adapting, relocating and reviewing our resources to introduce innovative ways of how we function.”

Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes said: “It has taken the tragic events in London to highlight the work of the service. Our firefighters are professional, dedicated, heroic men and women, who risk their lives every day.

“We have suffered massive cuts to our funding since 2010, as an Authority we have had to balance the safety of residents with a decreasing budget. Whilst we are closing the two stations in Shipley and Idle this new station in Shipley offers a first class facility for our firefighters, as well as a superb community facility for residents in the surrounding area.”

District Commander for Bradford, Martin Speed, said: “It is a fond farewell to the former Idle and Shipley stations and I would like to record my appreciation of all crews that have served in these stations.

“However, the new Shipley station is a fantastic new station, with excellent, modern facilities and it is well placed to serve the high risk areas around Bradford city centre and Shipley.”

The fire station also offers facilities to accommodate community and partnership groups, providing a room with multimedia equipment for all training and meeting needs.

As well as providing round the clock operational response to emergencies, station personnel are committed to working alongside community and partner agencies to carry out our fire prevention and community safety work.