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Councillor voices fire cover concern
A blaze in central Keighley has sparked new concerns about firefighter cover for Silsden.
A local councillor fears residents will be put in danger whenever Silsden’s fire engine tackles out-of-town blazes.
Adrian Naylor claims replacement crews from Skipton or Ilkley would not reach Silsden in time to save lives.
He believes crews unfamiliar with the area would get lost, particularly when trying to reach outlying farms.
Coun Naylor, who serves on Bradford Council and Silsden Town Council, said the situation showed the folly of removing Silsden’s second fire engine.
The vehicle was recently moved to Keighley, and is used across the county as an extra vehicle in times of heavy need.
The vehicle’s Silsden crew was made redundant, leaving Silsden with only one fire engine, operated by part-time volunteers.
The engine was called to Keighley recently to help deal with a tyre fire, because both Keighley engines were tackling flooding in Calderdale.
A fire crew from Rawdon, near Leeds, had also been transferred to Keighley Fire Station that day to provide temporary cover.
It is common to move fire crews from station to station to provide temporary cover when a town’s own engines are out fighting fires.
After learning about the tyre fire, Coun Naylor wrote to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue to express his concerns.
He said that when the second vehicle was removed the brigade had promised this would add only 20 seconds to a response time of 11 minutes for fire engines to reach Silsden.
Writing on local website silsden.net, he said residents feared that Silsden, Steeton and Eastburn had been left without cover on the Saturday of the Keighley blaze.