RADICAL plans to close Ossett Fire Station and cut firefighters’ jobs will go out to public consultation after they were approved this morning.
Under the proposals, a new station to replace Ossett would be built closer to Wakefield, near junction 40 of the M1, and Wakefield Fire Station would lose one of its two engines.
Around 200 jobs would go across the region, and Fire Brigade Union (FBU) chiefs believe 20 could be lost in Wakefield.
At a meeting this morning West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority said they were facing large budget cuts from the government and that the plans would help them save at least £8m.
They revealed response times, which currently average at seven minutes in Wakefield, would increase in most areas of the city.
But the increase would be less than 10 seconds in most areas and some areas would have improved response times.
FBU chief David Williams said the changes would put the lives of fire victims and firefighters at risk.
And he said the authority should have tried to get a better deal out of the government before announcing their plans.
But Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said the risk to public safety was “very minimal”.
He said fire deaths and injuries were at an all-time low and that the service was costing more than it needed to.
A 12-week consultation will now begin.