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Recruitment drive for on-call firefighters in rural West Yorkshire

A recruitment drive is underway to find on-call firefighters for a number of rural areas in West Yorkshire.

A series of taster sessions are being held around the county this week to encourage more men and women to work on a standby basis to provide mostly daytime cover.

They will provide cover for Otley, Ilkley Slaithwaite, Meltham, Holmfirth, Mytholmroyd and Featherstone.

On-call firefighters respond to emergency calls from either home or work and must be able to reach their fire station within five minutes of receiving a call.

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New assistant chief at West Yorkshire Fire Service

The new assistant chief at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service says he's "excited" about the challenge.

Dave Walton previously served with West Midlands Fire Service for 28 years, where he was most recently. He replaces Martyn Redfearn.

“I am excited to have the opportunity to work in West Yorkshire, with what is widely known as a high performing team. It’s a great time of change in the UK fire and rescue service and, while it will be a challenge, it also brings a fantastic opportunity to lead. I have come from a metropolitan brigade similar to West Yorkshire, so I am well versed in what the challenges are. I look forward to learning about the different communities in West Yorkshire and meeting and working with lots of new people.”

– Dave Walton

Woman leaps to safety from blazing house

A woman broke her leg as she escaped from a burning house by jumping from an upstairs window.

She was one of three people who escaped from a blaze in King Edward Avenue, Horsforth, Leeds, in the early hours of Christmas Day.

Three fire crews were sent to the blaze following reports that people were trapped in the property.

But, on arrival, the firefighters found a man and two women had managed to get out of the semi-detached house without help.

"The two female occupants had jumped to safety from a first-floor window," said a spokesman for the West Yorkshire Fire Service.

"All the casualties were suffering from smoke inhalation. One of the women had a suspected broken leg."

All three occupants were taken to hospital.

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West Yorkshire fire cuts reined in

Some firefighters jobs are still at risk

Fire Chiefs have reined back on controversial plans to close some fire stations in West Yorkshire after a massive public backlash.

Around 200 firefighters' posts could still go and community leaders fear lives will be placed at risk by the cuts, but some fire stations earmarked for closure now look likely to remain open.

12,037 letters or emails were received objecting to the plans - just seven either supported them or raised no objection.

They were going to close Haworth, but now it's recommended that it be given a reprieve for a max of two years. There were plans to merge Hunslet and Morley fire stations at a two-appliance station between the two.

Now, the recommendation is retain Hunslet and Morley fire stations in their current locations and remove one fire engine from Hunslet.

Also plans to merge Rothwell and Garforth at a one-appliance station between the two - have now been watered down and recommendation is that they retain Rothwell and Garforth fire stations in their current locations.

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