Ossett’s new state-of-the-art £3.7m fire station will provide a better service to the community it serves.
That was the message from fire chiefs during the official opening of the new site at the Wilfred on Silkwood Business Park.
The new facility replaces the old base on Dale Street and is close to both the M1 and M62.
The station will be manned 24 hours a day and was opened by Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Dr Ingrid Roscoe.
John Lloyd, Assistant District Commander for Wakefield, praised the new facilities and in particular the location.
He said: “It’s all brand new and is a fantastic base from which to carry out our community fire safety.
“The crews here are especially well trained in water rescue.
“And because of being right next to the M1 it means we can respond quickly to anywhere in the district.
“The location is key really.
“All the specialist crews here are fully embracing the new station and really looking forward to working from here
Chief Fire Officer of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Simon Pilling says the new station will be fit for purpose for many years to come.
Chief officer Pilling said: “This opening demonstrates the fire authority are willing to invest in the future.
“We needed to think creatively and do things in a different way.
“And I think this new fire station does just that.
“To the general public, it’s about value for money.
“And can they expect to receive a similar level of service that they’ve enjoyed?
“Well absolutely, because investment in new fire stations such as this makes perfect sense.”
The crews working out of the new station are specially trained in water rescue techniques - something Mr Pilling says is crucial given the Boxing Day floods that wreaked havoc last year.
He said: “The new firefighters posted here have been training hard and have been building up their skills set with regards to water rescue.
“You only have to go back to last Boxing Day when parts of the county were submerged.
“I wouldn’t suggest we were caught short but we’ve addressed that and put it into play here at this new station.
“We’ve two main arteries here, in the M1 and M62, and hopefully we can respond in double quick time.
“We call it an invest to save strategy and an invest to improve strategy.
“If we can achieve both of those outcomes, then the general public are receiving an improved service that is better by value for money.
“The taxpayer, quite rightly, wants to know we are delivering a service that is modern, effective but also value for money.
“We’re not wasting money in any way, shape or form.”