Gales expected during firefighter strike!

The first eight hours of firefighter strike have proved to be fairly quiet for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS).

However, we are mindful that severe gales are forecast to hit the region tonight.

Between 0900 hrs and 1700 hrs today we have attended 16 incidents – the majority of which have been automatic fire alarms which have turned out to be false alarms. No emergencies went unattended.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Fortunately there have been no major incidents today. However, the string of automatic fire alarms that we have attended shows just how our resources can easily get tied up by false fire signals which are, in most cases, preventable.

“We urge commercial premises to do their bit to help keep West Yorkshire safe and ensure their automated systems are in good working order and are not likely to be triggered by cooking or paint fumes or even steam from a shower.”

The Met Office has issued a Yellow Warning of Wind for the region as gales, severe at times, are forecast to start just after midnight tonight and continue until 0600 hrs on Thursday.

ACO Walton said: “In high winds we can see a rise in calls to the fire service and we urge people do take extra care if they have to make a journey during this time.

“Prevention is always better than cure and people can help us by ensuring garden furniture, and for example trampolines, are safely stowed.

“We have had instances in the past where they are lifted by the wind and cause havoc.”

During periods of strike WYFRS uses contingency cover which consists of fully qualified non-striking officers and community response operatives (CROs).

CROs have been specially recruited for the role and are given three weeks’ intensive training in basic fire and rescue response. They are only ever deployed under the supervision of a senior officer.

Today, we have had 25 fire engines out of our usual fleet of 53 available. 

Total round-up of incidents attended between 0900 hrs and 1700 hrs today.

09:40 hrs – Auto fire alarm (AFA), Shelley College, Huddersfield Road, false alarm due to cooking fumes.

09:50 hrs – False alarm sheltered housing, Doctor Lane, Mirfield due to steam from shower. No attendance required.

09:56 hrs – AFA  Oakwell Hall, Birstall, following a burst radiator.

10:08 hrs – Crews attended domestic flat in Todmorden where an elderly woman had collapsed behind her door and had been found by her carer. Crews forced entry and gave the woman, who was conscious and breathing, oxygen. Ambulance crews were on the scene and she was taken to hospital for a check-up. 

 11:14 hrs – West Oaks School, Oakwood Lane, Roundhay. Returned en-route due to false alarm good intent.

12:10 hrs – False alarm good intent, Court House Street, Otley, pan out on arrival.

12:15 hrs – AFA  Brookroyd Lane, Birstall, false alarm good intent.

12:19 hrs – AFA nursing home in Western Drive, Otley, false alarm good intent, fumes from paint activated alarm.

12:21 hrs – Small bonfire in field Loscoe Lane, Normanton.

12:46 hrs – AFA domestic premises Allerton Hill, Chapel Allerton, false alarm good intent.  

13:34 hrs – AFA Alhambra Theatre , Bradford, false alarm good intent. 

14:11 hrs – AFA Colne Valley Specialist Arts College, false alarm good intent.  

14:47 hrs – Smell of burning in domestic premises, Girlington Road, Bradford. Turned out to be false alarm good intent.

15:37 hrs – Swings on fire, Horton Park Ave, Bradford,

16:10 hrs – Chimney fire, Craven Avenue, Silsden.

16:40 hrs – AFA domestic premises Appletree Close, Boston Spa, Wetherby. Turned out to be false alarm due to fumes from car in garage.