Hundreds of firefighter jobs at risk and Ossett Fire Station set to close

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FIREFIGHTERS’ jobs are under threat and fire stations could close under new cost-saving proposals.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service announced this week that up to 200 jobs could go as they try to save around £8m during the next two years.

Ossett Fire Station would close and be replaced with a new station closer to Wakefield, and Rothwell Fire Station would close to be merged with Garforth at a new station between the two towns.

One fire engine would also be removed from Wakefield under the proposals.

Chief fire officer Simon Pilling said budget cuts were likely up to 2020 and that fire cover had to be redesigned.

He said: “We know we have to find cuts of between and £8-12m over the next two years – and already have plans in place – but all the messages coming out of central government project further reductions in financial support for local authorities up to 2020.

“Doing nothing is not an option as my inability to recruit would eventually leave fire stations as glorified garages with unstaffed vehicles and equipment.”

More details of the proposals will be made available next Friday if the fire service agrees to consult on them.