Union warns of fire engine issues

15 November 2011  .......... Dave Williams, Memership secretary for the Fire Brigades Union and Mark Wilson, Fire Brigades Union Briggade secretary
15 November 2011 .......... Dave Williams, Memership secretary for the Fire Brigades Union and Mark Wilson, Fire Brigades Union Briggade secretary

Union bosses have warned lives could be put at risk because of problems with the city’s flagship fire engine.

Dave Williams, membership secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, claimed the combined aerial rescue platform (CARP) vehicle was not fit for purpose.

Bosses at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority are currently holding a consultation on plans to cut 200 firefighters and close a number of stations to save £8m.

The authority has to make almost £18m worth of savings by 2015.

Under the cost saving plan Ossett Fire Station would be closed and Wakefield Fire Station would lose one of it’s two fire engines.

The specialist CARP fire engine would be the only engine in the city.

It was bought two years ago at a cost of £500,000 and is designed to enable firefighters to rescue people from heights.

But according to Mr Williams it has broken down a number of times.

He said: “There are lots of problems with these types of CARPs. It would seem they’re not fit for purpose.”

A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue denied there were problems.

She said: “Wakefield Station’s CARP had been in for scheduled maintenance including servicing and a technical inspection.

“All vehicles within the fire service fleet undertake regular checks and servicing. In this case a damaged motion sensor was found to be defective and parts had to be ordered. A reserve vehicle provided cover for 18 days and the CARP is now back at Wakefield.”