HOLME Valley Conservative councillors are urging local residents to fight to save their fire station.
West Yorkshire Fire Authority has suggested reducing the status of Holmfirth Fire Station from full-time to part-time by April, 2004.
And the Kirklees councillors claim that the move is the first stage in a wider plan to axe Holmfirth Fire Station altogether.
Clr Ken Sims said: "I have no problem with retained (part time) firefighters. They do a terrific job - as long as they are working alongside their full-time colleagues.
"But the fire service has not been recruiting retained firefighters over the last few years and their numbers are at an all-time low.
"It takes 12 months to fully train these personnel, so there is no chance that the fire authority can have them in place by April, 2004, as is their intention.
"I believe they are simply winding this station down towards closure."
Clr Donald Firth said there had been nine or 10 occasions over the last few months when there had been insufficient firefighters available to respond to call-outs in Holmfirth over the last few months.
"Responses on these occasions have had to come from Huddersfield," he said.
"Thankfully these call-outs did not occur during the rush hour.
"It is clear that the station needs more firefighters, both full-time and retained," he said.
"It certainly does not need to be threatened with closure."
Clr Nigel Patrick added: "The population is on the increase in Holmfirth, with more houses constantly being built.
"The fire service needs greater capacity, not less.
"We believe the station needs two engines and more personnel.
"If the fire authority goes ahead with its plans we will end up without a fire station at all.
"I am urging local residents to sign the petitions we have placed in local shops to help us stop this fiasco and save our fire station."
A spokeswoman for West Yorkshire Fire Authority denied there were plans to shut the station altogether.
She said: "We are not planning to close the fire station.
"But what we are looking at is the cover and the way the fire station is run, without compromising public safety."
The spokeswoman said that Holmfirth Fire Station did not attend enough incidents to justify full-time status. "There will still be cover but on a retained basis," she said.
The station currently has full-time staff backed up by retained firefighters.
Under the proposals, the full-time crew would go, leaving the retained firefighters.
Retained staff have to live or work within five minutes of the station.
"We cannot close a fire station where it is needed," added the spokeswoman.
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