House fires at an all-time low in Calderdale - but more must be done

Fires in the home are at an all-time low in Calderdale, but more must be done to protect the most vulnerable, according to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service's district commander.

Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 10:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th April 2016, 11:02 am
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling

District Commander Martyn Greenwood has presented a series of goals for the fire and rescue service in Calderdale as part of its Action Plan 2016-2017. Bolstering partnerships with other organisations is a key theme throughout.

Over the past 10 years, the number of fires in the home has halved across Calderdale (99 fires in 2015 compared to 205 in 2005).

District Commander Greenwood said: “I am proud to present our Action Plan at a time when dwelling fires and fire related injuries in the district are at their lowest ever level. This is a fantastic achievement, but the district team is mindful of the challenges ahead.

“We know certain individuals and groups are at much higher risk of fire and other emergencies. Working in partnership is fundamental to engaging with vulnerable people and it is therefore a major theme in our Action Plan. The district team is working extremely hard to refresh current partnerships and create new ones with influential groups. The downward trend in fires and associated injuries though is testament to everyone involved.”

He added that Calderdale was vulnerable to risks associated with climate change, as highlighted by the devastation left by the Boxing Day floods. The district has several miles of moorland, leaving it vulnerable to wildfire during protracted periods of dry weather.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Pilling said: “We continue to face significant challenges, not least of which is financial change. However, our determination to provide an efficient and effective fire and rescue service still remains as strong as ever.

Coun Judith Hughes, Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: “I am very proud that we are able to present such glowing accomplishments to the public and set out our plan for how we will continue to make West Yorkshire a safer place to live and work.

“West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service is a professional, forward-thinking organisation with dedicated staff who strive to deliver a first class service to the public.”