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West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to recruit more firefighters


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Over 50 new firefighter positions have been created across West Yorkshire to help meet the demand for the service as, for the first time since the 1970s, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is now recruiting to increase its firefighter headcount, Telegraph & Argus reported.

Firefighter numbers in the region have fallen over last 12 years from 1,490 to 900 as a result of not replacing firefighters as they retired or left, consequently placing pressure on the staffing and flexibility of service delivery. The £1.5 million investment is a result of the increase in the council tax precept last year.

A total of 56 operational posts will be allocated across all 14 of the county’s single-pump fire stations within weeks.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Having the ability to increase our numbers like this is a great position to be in. While of course it is not going to take us back to the numbers we had over 10 years ago, it is a significant step in the right direction.

“We have suffered more than any other fire service nationally in terms of the impact of the austerity measures, as we have taken more of a hit in terms of budget cuts and the impact then on staffing numbers.

“While it is never ideal to be in such a position, it presented us with an opportunity to look at what we wanted to achieve as a service and to make us fit for the future.

“Having these new firefighters will enable us to have more boots on the ground at stations where they are most needed, which will free up crews for training for these new challenges so we can continue to keep people safe in years to come.”

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