‘Have faith’ plea as Leeds fire stations merge

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A leading firefighter has urged Leeds residents to “put their faith” in the West Yorkshire brigade after two stations were closed following the merger of their crews at a new base.

Gipton and Stanks fire stations shut yesterday after a combined 120 years in operation, with 44 firefighters and two fire engines moving to a new station in York Road, Killingbeck.

Other firefighters who worked out of the two closed stations have been redeployed to other areas of the brigade.

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The new station has training facilities and a community room, for use by local groups.

Assistant chief fire officer Dave Walton acknowledged the move was partly driven by budget cuts, but said demands for the service had changed.

He said: “Gipton was built in 1937 and Stanks in 1973. They are no longer in the high-risk areas.

“The new station is better located to deal with the risks as they stand today.

“I would ask people to put their faith in the fire service.

“With any move like this we move away from some people, but closer to others and we think the new location is risk appropriate and gives us better access to the largest area.”

Gipton and Stanks are among eight West Yorkshire stations that have closed, to be replaced by four new ones.

The other closures were Brighouse, Elland, Hemsworth, South Elmsall, Batley and Dewsbury, which have been replaced by Rastrick, South Kirkby and a new Dewsbury station.

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