New fire station in South Kirkby is officially open
A controversial new fire station in South Kirkby has been officially opened.
Fire chiefs, dignitaries and community members gathered on Tuesday for the opening ceremony of the new site, on South Kirkby Business Park.
The new two-bay station is staffed by 13 firefighters, who work across two shifts on a close call system, providing fire cover 24-hours a day, 365 days a year.
It has replaced South Elmsall and Hemsworth fire stations, which both closed earlier this year.
West Yorkshire Fire Service was criticised when it first announced the plan, with the Fire Brigades Union saying it would lead to firefighters being made redundant, double the response times to calls and create a difficult working pattern for staff.
But South Kirkby and Moorthorpe Mayor, Coun John Taylor said he had been assured that no firefighters from South Elmsall fire station had been made redundant.
He said: “The new station is a fantastic facility in a pivotal position of the area it serves.
“We were worried about what the new fire station a would mean for fire fighters jobs and their standing within the community.
“I am pleased to learn that all the firefighters from the former station at Moorthorpe have kept their jobs.
“We have also been reassured that firefighters will still be out in the community giving advice and helping to install smoke alarms.”
Steve Beckley, deputy chief fire officer, said: “We are delighted to have opened this fantastic facility and are incredibly proud of the team effort from all those who contributed towards its success.
“It will provide a modern and efficient base from which to deliver our highly effective emergency response and community safety activities in the area for many years to come.”