West Yorkshire emergency services mark Pride with a cross county trip

Emergency services across West Yorkshire have shown their rainbow colours this week.

Photograph of WYFRS staff with the PRIDE flag at the Piece Hall, Halifax.

Starting and ending at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s (WYFRS) Headquarters in Birkenshaw and visiting West Yorkshire Police in Halifax and other key locations across the county, the Pride flag and a fire engine travelled a special route on Wednesday, 29 July to show support for LGBT+ communities.

The message was clear – fire doesn’t discriminate, and neither does the Service.

At the end of the journey the Pride flag was raised at WYFRS Headquarters in Birkenshaw.

The route taken was as follows:

• West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters – Birkenshaw
• Alhambra Theatre – Bradford
• The Cow and Calf – Ilkley
• The Piece Hall – Halifax
• Castle Hill – Huddersfield
• Lower Briggate – Leeds

The whole journey, which was carried out with full social distancing measures in place, was shared on the Service’s social media channels and wrapped up a week which saw WYFRS talking about the importance of Pride on BBC Radio Leeds and marking ten years of supporting the festival internally with staff.

Leeds Pride 2020 was postponed until 2021 earlier this year due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
Anthony Devine, Watch Manager and Chair of the LGBT+ network at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Throughout the year we encourage everyone to celebrate their differences and bring their most authentic self to work. Pride is a time for the LGBT+ community to stand tall and raise awareness of the issues that many people still face every day, and it’s great to still be able to celebrate this year, albeit in a slightly different way than usual.

“I organised this relay because I wanted the whole of West Yorkshire to be able to see us travelling around the county and to put the message of Pride at the front of everyone’s mind. The Service is an inclusive employer and it’s important to us that we continue to voice our support for Pride and the fact that we challenge discrimination and celebrate our differences.”