Plans to cut the number of firefighters at a Kirklees fire station have been revealed.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (WYFRS) is now consulting with staff and the public on proposals to reduce the number of personnel on the technical rescue unit at Cleckheaton fire station from five to three firefighters.
The proposal is part of plans to shed 44 posts across the county to bring staffing levels in line with the WYFRS budget and make savings of £1.8m.
Assistant chief fire officer Steve Rhodes said the changes were possible due to the “significant reduction in risk and demand” thanks to fire prevention work carried out across West Yorkshire.
He said that during the past 10 years, the number of incidents firefighters are called out to have more than halved. In 2015/16, the service responded to 22,140 incidents compared with more than 50,000 In 2004/5.
There would be no firefighter redundancies as the posts lost would be made through retirements.
ACO Rhodes said: “Firstly, I would like to give the reassurance that public and firefighter safety is our priority and have been at the forefront of our minds when carrying out research and drawing up the proposals.
“However, the challenge we have is to provide a first class, effective, yet also efficient and economic service using finite resources.
“Difficult decisions must be made, but we believe these proposals are proportionate to the risk and demand in the communities they serve and will enable us to continue to provide an excellent service to the public of West Yorkshire.
“The proposals would have minimal impact on service delivery.”
Clr Judith Hughes, chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “Over the past five years, the authority has seen a 40% reduction in its funding from central government, which is why we have been forced to make some difficult decisions.
“We have had to look at ways to reduce our spending without impacting on public safety.
“This initiative will also be done in line with retirement profiles, hence there will be no need for compulsory redundancies.
“I would encourage members of the public and staff to take a look at the plans and, if they feel appropriate, give their feedback.”
People can comment on he proposals by phoning 01274 655784.
Formal representations should be submitted by February 3, 2017, by emailing IRMPconsultation@westyorksfire.gov.uk or by writing to Consultation Co-ordinator, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service HQ, Oakroyd Hall, WYFRS HQ, Bradford Road, Birkenshaw, BD11 2DY.