Wednesday, October 24, 2012


We were left a  message at the FCCL HQ which suggested we take a peek at the planning application which was approved in only  June 2012  to build a close call crewing block at Rothwell Fire Station........... so we did :-) 

Close Call" Crewing System is a WYFRS term to describe a shift system whereby fire-fighters are either on duty on station during the day or residing in purpose provided accommodation nearby from which they can be quickly mobilised. They are therefore "on call" at the accommodation but whilst there can carry out normal quasi residential activities, i.e. preparing food, eating, sleeping and washing etc. The shift pattern would normally commence at station one morning at 08:00hrs until approximately 19:00hrs. Following this time, the fire fighter would retire to the accommodation where they would be on standby for call out from 19:00hrs until 08:00hrs. This would normally continue for a four day stretch until the end of the four day tour of duty when the next shift would take over. There would be two main alternative shifts with each tour of duty lasting four whole days.  

Close call crewing sounds to us like it will ruin your marriage, wreck your family life and probably requires you  to sign away your rights as per the European working time directive.(and would be unsuitable for fire fighters with caring responsibilities- like being a mum springs to mind!!!!!!!)

Anyway ................ why would WYFRS go to all this trouble AND EXPENSE to build what is essentially a glorified dormitory when the new IMRP plans say bye bye Rothwell. Here the plot thickens .........

But it is the documentation they have provided that made the red mist descend today. Here is a choice excerpt from the information they provided to the planning committee in April 2012. 

 “It is unnecessary to stress the operational advantages and the need for speed in responding to emergency calls as in many situations even seconds count when lives and property are in danger. The current proposals for Rothwell are operationally more desirable as it contains all the activities associated with the fire station within the site, and ensures that staff are located as close as possible to the station to ensure fast response times.”
Plans submitted to LCC in April 2012 

REALLY !!!!!! 
 so why less than 4 months later are WYFRS
 saying that an increase in response times  of 
3 MINUTES is ACCEPTABLE in the Rothwell area?

But also of interest is the SITE CONTAMINATION REPORT  which states that potential sources of contamination are

  • General contaminants in the made ground derived from past building and demolition works
  • Hydrocarbon contamination derived from leakage or spillage of fuel and oil in the bunded storage area or during maintenance of fire fighting vehicles.
  • Surfactant contamination derived from the use of fire fighting foam solutions in the practice area
  • Polyaromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) and petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) contamination from burning vehicle run off in the practice area.
  • Polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) contamination in the area of the former sub station on the northern boundary derived from the leakage of the transformer fluids.

Excerpt from planning application  


Rothwell close call land                 £80,000
Rothwell close call block                £350,000

BUT ALL OF THIS IS HAS BEEN SCRAPPED NOT FOUR MONTHS LATER IN FAVOUR OF CLOSING ROTHWELL DOWN .....................................................................................

Which proves to FCCL that the plans currently out to consultation have been thrown together in a rush, are badly thought through and designed and are not fit for purpose.

How can WYFRS say one thing in early  2012 and then retract it in September? 

Rothwell it seems is getting a particularly

And of course whatever is built there when / if the station is sold will still have the contamination issue.

FCCL have sent this information to the local Rothwell Councillors for comment, and also wish to bring to everybodies attention that this planning application was approved NOT at COMMITTEE but by DELEGATED AUTHORITY  ---- which means an employee of the planning department approved it not local elected members. FCCL stress it is essentail that ALL FUTURE WYFRS PLANNING APPLICATIONS ARE DECIDED IN THE PUBLIC ARENA  (Not behind closed  doors!!!)  


Anonymous said...

is there any mention of how the "super stations will be crewed"

Anonymous said...

So far, NO, but they do suggest that they will have the same staffing arrangements as the Stations that they replace.
In respect of Garforth. When they tried to downgrade it several years ago they wanted to make it "Day Staffing" meaning that the personnel were on station during the weekday but on call from home at night time and weekends. The reason they tried to get away with this is because at the time there were enough Firefighters that lived in the area whom they hoped would be enticed be "additional" payments. They tried to convince the local community that there would be no delay in the fire appliances responding to a call whether it was at 3pm in the afternoon or 3 am in the morning. They would liked to have implemented "close call" but there there are not enough Ff's living within the catchment area of the particular station. They manage to do it at Wetherby, but only because it would be impossible for Ff's to buy properties in that area on their normal salary.,

Anonymous said...

But what about firefighters with families? It must be dreadful for them - can you get away from this method of rotas once you are in it ?

Sarah Covell said...

So if Rothwell is saved will this be implemented? Thats a question that must be asked of WYFRA?

Anonymous said...

wont the contamination problem be valid for every fire station they try to sell? And the older ones such as Gipton its likely to be worse as in the "olden days" they were not so risk averse re contamination. Surely the price of these stations is dropping all the time and potential customers not stupid enough to by them now - unless what you say is true about Otley of course.