West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is the county-wide, statutory emergency fire and rescue service for the metropolitan county of West Yorkshire, England. It is administered by a joint authority of 22 people who are appointed annually from the five metropolitan boroughs of West Yorkshire, known as the Fire and Rescue Authority.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
Operational area
Country England
CountyWest Yorkshire
Agency overview
Established1974 (1974)
Employees961 (2016 frontline staff)[1]
Facilities and equipment
Official website

West Yorkshire covers an area of approximately 800 square miles (2,100 km2) which includes remote moorland, rural villages, large towns and cities as well as Leeds Bradford International Airport.[2] The fire and rescue service's headquarters are located at Oakroyd Hall, Bradford Road, Birkenshaw, Bradford.[3] There is also a large training centre at Birkenshaw used by other authorities besides West Yorkshire.

In 2006, the service was listed as being the fourth largest in England (behind London, the West Midlands and Greater Manchester fire services) with 1,600 wholetime firefighters and 199 retained.[4] It has 47 fire appliances based at 41 stations, sub divided into five districts; Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield.[5][6]


The brigade was formed in 1974 when the unitary county of West Yorkshire was created and was an amalgamation of smaller brigades across the county.[7] These included the West Riding County Fire Service, Bradford City Fire Brigade, Dewsbury County Borough Fire Brigade, Halifax County Borough Fire Brigade, Huddersfield County Borough Fire, Leeds City Fire Brigade and Wakefield City Fire Brigade.[7] At its inception, the WYF&RS had 52 stations across the five districts.[8]

The service's headquarters is at Oakroyd Hall in Birkenshaw; the hall is a grade II listed building that has housed the headquarters since 1964 when it was the hq for the West Riding Fire Service (WRFS).[9][10] Previous to that, the WRFS hq was at Huddersfield,[11] though the WRFS training centre had moved to Birkenshaw in 1961.[12]

After a number of firefighter deaths at notable fires in the 1990s (Gillender street in Bow, East London [1991] and the Sun Valley poultry factory fire in Hereford [1993]), coupled with the publishing of the Fennell Report into the King's Cross fire of 1987, WYFRS developed an incident command policy that encompassed an at-incident dynamic risk assessment and an organisational structure assessment for major fires. This policy was driven forward by central government and after some refinement was adopted in 1999.[13]

In April 2014, the service's emergency call response centre was moved from the Birkenshaw site to a location in Leeds which also subsequently became the call centre for the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, in the event of a control room failure at SYFRS control in Sheffield.[14]

Fire stations

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service operates 41 fire stations including the headquarters and training centre at Birkenshaw.[15]

Station NameStation NumberDistrictCrewedUnitsnotes
Bingley41BradfordWholetime1 WRL, 1 WRU
BirkenshawKirkleesOakroyd Hall houses the headquarters with additional training facilities located on the same site.
Bradford40BradfordWholetime1 WRT, 1 CARP
Castleford82WakefieldWholetime1 CARP
Cleckheaton62KirkleesWholetime1 WRL, 1 SRU, 1 PM,
Cookridge22LeedsWholetime1 WrTWYFRS plan to merge Cooksridge and Moortown fire stations on one site.[16]
Dewsbury83KirkleesWholetime1 WRL, 1 WRT 1 IRU, 1 DIM
Fairweather Green42BradfordWholetime1 WRL, 1 RWrl
FeatherstoneWakefieldRetained1 WRL, 1CSU
Garforth23LeedsDAY CREWING1 WrT
Halifax64CalderdaleWholetime1 CARP
Huddersfield60KirkleesWholetime1 WRt. 1 CARP
Hunslet25LeedsWholetime1 WrL, 1 WrT. 2x PM bulk foam
Ilkley45BradfordRetained1 WrL
Illingworth67CalderdaleWholetime1 WRL
Keighley46BradfordWholetime1 WRL, 1 WFU, 1 Rwrl
Killingbeck32LeedsWholetime1 WrL, 1 WrT
Leeds20LeedsWholetime1 WrT, 1 WrL, 1 ALP, 1 WRU
MelthamKirkleesRetained1 WRL,
MirfieldKirkleesRetained1 WRL, 1PM
Moortown26LeedsWholetime1 WRLWYFRS plan to merge Cooksridge and Moortown fire stations on one site. Outline permission to redevelop the site for housing was approved in June 2017.[17]
Morley27LeedsWholetime1 WRL
MytholmroydCalderdaleRetained1 WRL,
NormantonWakefieldWholetime1 WRL
Odsal47BradfordWholetime1 WRL 1 PM, 1 ISU POD, 1 ISU SUPPORT VAN
OssettWakefieldWholetime1 WRL 1WRU, 1 PM
Otley48LeedsRetained1 WRL 1 PM
PontefractWakefieldWholetime1 WRL, 1 CSUOpened in 2012 to replace the older Pontefract station with Knottingley fire station closing completely.[18]
Rastrick61CalderdaleWholetime1 WRL, 1 WRU
Rawdon50LeedsDay Crewed1 WRL
Rothwell91LeedsDay Crewed1 WRL
Shipley51BradfordWholetime1 WRLShipley fire station moved to a new site in May 2017 on Valley Road, closer to Bradford. The new station replaced the old Shipley fire station (located in Saltaire) and Idle fire station, which closed completely.[19]
Silsden52BradfordRetained1 WRL
SkelmanthorpeKirkleesRetained1 WRL
Slaithwaite72KirkleesRetained1 WRL,1 WFU, 1 RWRL
South KirkbyWakefieldDay Crewing /Close Call1 WRLReplaced South Elmsall fire station (wholetime) and Hemsworth fire station (retained) in 2015.[20][21]
Stanningley31LeedsWholetime1 WRL 2 HVP, 1 WRU, 1 WRU Support VanOpened in February 2003 to replace the two closed stations at Bramley and Pudsey.[22]
Todmorden74CalderdaleDay crewed
Wakefield80WakefieldWholetime1 CARPTempoary 1 bay station until the new one is built
WetherbyLeedsDay crewed1 WRL

Wholetime consists of working two days, two nights and four days off. Day crewing is a day orientated shift pattern and close call is where the firefighter works a set number of hours annually, so the shift patterns are managed locally. purposes. Ranks of station manager and above can work a Flexi duty system, with the remainder of the staff being on a retained basis.[23] Wholetime 2-2-4 0800-1900hrs (Bingley, Bradford, Cleckheaton, Halifax, Illingworth, Fairweather Green, Shipley, Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Moortown, Cookridge, Dewsbury, Ossett, Odsal, Pontefract, Rastrick, Stanningley, Killingbeck) Day Crewed 4-4 0800-1700 - Todmorden, Wetherby Day Crewing 2 on, 2 0ff, 3 on, (0800-1700) 1700-0800 respond from home (Garforth, Morley, Rothwell, Rawdon) Day Crewed Close Call, 2on 2 0ff 3 on (0800-1700) then respond from accommodation that is available (Castleford, Normanton and South Kirkby)

Station closures

Stanks fire station at Swarcliffe (closed 2015)
Gipton fire station (closed 2015)
Killingbeck fire station (seen under construction) opened in 2015 to replace Stanks and Gipton

In recent years the service has sought to rationalise its stations. In 2013, Marsden fire station was closed, while in 2015 Gipton and Stanks fire stations in East Leeds were replaced with a single fire station between the two sites at Killingbeck.[24] Of the eight firefighters based at Marsden, three left the service, whilst five transferred to the retained station at Slaithwaite. The fire appliance from Marsden was moved as a cover fire engine at Huddersfield.[25] Haworth fire station, which was staffed by retained firefighters, was closed permanently in 2014.[26]

In the same year, Batley and Dewsbury's fire stations were merged into a single site in Dewsbury and Brighouse and Elland fire stations were also amalgamated into one fire station in Rastrick that is nearer to the M62.[27] the stations at Otley and Rawdon were due to be closed and replaced with a combined site located in the Menston area, but these plans were abandoned after a suitable site could not be found.[28][29]

Notable incidents

  • The Bradford City stadium fire - 11 May 1985; a fire at valley Parade, the home of ground of Bradford City Football Club which killed 56 people.[30]
  • The Allied Colloids plant in Low Moor - 21 July 1992; a large fire at the chemical plant involved over 150 firefighters and precipitated the closure of the adjacent M62 motorway.[31]
  • The Hickson & Welsh plant Castleford - 21 September 1992; more than 100 firefighters and 17 engines were required to tackle the fire.[32]

See also


  1. "Your Area - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service". westyorks.fire.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  2. "About Us". www.westyorksfire.gov.uk. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  3. Keith, Joseph (31 January 2017). "VIDEO: Watch YEP reporter take on West Yorkshire firefighter training day". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  4. "House of Commons - Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions - Written Evidence". publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  5. "West Yorkshire". justiceinspectorates.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  6. "Districts - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service". westyorksfire.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  7. Atkinson, Neil (28 March 2014). "New book to mark 40 years of West Yorkshire Fire Service". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  8. Wallington 2014, p. 2.
  9. Historic England. "Oakroyd Hall  (Grade II) (1391175)". National Heritage List for England. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  10. "Headquarters - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service". westyorksfire.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  11. "Respected former fire chief mourned". Wakefield Express. 15 December 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  12. Wallington 2014, p. 18.
  13. "The Future of Incident Command" (PDF). www.nationalfirechiefs.org.uk. August 2015. p. 6. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  14. "Taking the heat: Fire call handlers on move". Yorkshire Evening Post. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  15. "Stations - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service". westyorksfire.gov.uk. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  16. "Site earmarked for fire station". Yorkshire Evening Post. 3 January 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  17. "Green light for Leeds homes - but 'no current plan'". Yorkshire Evening Post. 27 June 2017. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  18. Wallington 2014, p. 114.
  19. Stanford, Mark (31 May 2017). "New £4.5m fire station opens". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  20. "Dignitaries impressed after first glimpse of new South Kirkby Fire Station - West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service". westyorksfire.gov.uk. 27 February 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  21. "New fire station in South Kirkby is officially open". Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express. 7 March 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  22. "Action stations in new £3m HQ". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. 27 January 2003. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  23. "Duty Systems - Wholetime Firefighter Recruitment". joinwyfirefighters.com. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  24. "County's oldest fire station closes". BBC News. 7 October 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  25. Douglas, Joanne (2 May 2013). "Marsden Fire Station closes for good – see what's next for fire cover in the Colne Valley". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  26. "Protest outside closed fire station". BBC News. 12 December 2015. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  27. Cooper, Louise (25 August 2015). "New purpose-built fire station 'goes live' in Dewsbury". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 8 August 2017.
  28. "Fire stations saved from closure". BBC News. 17 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  29. "Closure of fire stations approved". BBC News. 16 December 2011. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  30. Herbert, Ian (11 November 2015). "'Police were to blame' for most life lost at Bradford". The Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  31. "Factory blaze injures 34". The Independent. 22 July 1992. Retrieved 19 October 2018.
  32. Pithers, Malcolm (22 September 1992). "Two die in blast at chemical works: Risk of poisonous fumes forces". The Independent. Retrieved 19 October 2018.


  • Wallington, Neil (2014). Images of Fire; Into Action with the West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service. Huddersfield: Jeremy Mills. ISBN 978-1-909837-15-7.
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