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Hopes of saving Shipley and Idle fire stations dashed
A discussion has taken place this week about ways of keeping the two fire stations open and a further meeting with the Fire Brigades’ Union was scheduled today, the Telegraph & Argus can reveal.
It is understood that there has been a suggestion that a change in shift systems, reducing four watches of six officers to two watches and restructuring working practices, could be a feasible method of retaining the stations, which are planned to be replaced with a new station possibly in the Canal Road area of Bradford if staff agree.
The two remaining watches would work alternate shifts of four solid days of 24 hours and then have four days off with budget hotel-style accomodation provided to allow the crews to sleep.
Lee Indricks, Fire Brigades’ Union secretary for the Bradford division, said he would be discussing the matter with management today.
“I have heard about this and will be having a meeting to sort out the details of any proposal,” Mr Indricks said yesterday. “As an alternative to closure of the two stations, it would be preferable to the Fire Brigades’ Union, although obviously this would not provide the same level of cover as before.”
West Yorkshire Fire Brigades’ Union secretary David Williams agreed that anything which could saved Shipley and Idle stations should be explored.
But last night Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton said West Yorkshire Fire Authority had resolved last December to replace Shipley and Idle stations with a new single appliance retaining the current wholetime shift duty system to ensure immediate response 24 hours per day.
He added: “Nothing has happened to vary this resolution/proposal and the search for a suitable site is ongoing.
“Once this site is identified we will develop a project plan which will allow us to announce the date on which the new station will open.
“I am able to confirm that there is no truth whatsoever in the rumour that either Shipley or Idle fire stations will remain open beyond the building of the new station, whether that be on a different shift system or otherwise.
“Suggestions of hotel-style accommodation or redundancies are mis-informed.”
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