West Yorkshire fire service hitting targets ‘won’t last’

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WEST Yorkshire’s fire service is hitting its targets for tackling blazes and accidents across the region.

But firefighters’ union chiefs have warned that the figures will be “unsustainable” in the wake of the massive cuts to come.

A meeting of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority next week will be told that the service is meeting its targets on the numbers of accidental fires and the number of deaths from them over the past year.

The numbers of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic incidents is also within the targets set by the authority.

Response times to incidents have also been deemed “satisfactory” with the time taken from accepting a call from the British Telecom operator, to mobilisation of Fire and Rescue Service resources standing at just over 64 seconds.

But speaking to the YEP, David Williams, Brigade membership secretary for the Fire Birgades Union for West Yorkshire, said the impact of multi-million pound proposed cuts are yet to be seen.

He said: “There’s no doubt that these positive stats are partly down to the good work done on community fire safety that’s been done.

“But these cuts are unsustainable and you’re going to see a rise in these figures, no question. It’s something that we’re not going to see for the next couple of years probably, but there will be a rise in fires and deaths from fires.

“Every minute it takes us to get to a fire, it will double in size. So minutes really do matter.”

As reported in the YEP, six fire stations in West Yorkshire were told to close or merge as part of a £7m cost-cutting scheme. More than 200 full-time firefighter posts will be lost as part of the measures. Tax payers could soon be asked for £5 a year more to pay for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Anil Stocker, CEO of MarketInvoice

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