West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have negotiated the sale of Marsden Fire Station to Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team.
Marsden Fire Station ceased to be an operational fire station on the 30th April 2013.
Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team (HVMRT), a local charitable body, currently occupies part of Marsden Fire Station and garages their two rescue vehicles in the building. HVMRT expressed an interest in purchasing the building after they were given a termination date on their lease following the announcement that the Fire Station was to close.
Holme Valley MRT was formed in 1965 and covers the southern half of West Yorkshire – with terrain ranging from rugged open moorland to built-up urban areas including Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Leeds, Wakefield and Castleford.
The activity of HVMRT is a valuable asset, which is beneficial to the community and complimentary to the work of the emergency services of West Yorkshire.
Following successful negotiations, West Yorkshire Fire Authority Members approved the sale of Marsden Fire Station to Holme Valley MRT, who now have a permanent base in which to garage their vehicles and carry out training. The site also offers excellent access to the rest of West Yorkshire via the A62 and nearby motorway network, which in severe weather is a major advantage.
The Vice Chair of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes said: ‘I am delighted to be able to support the HVMRT in establishing the services they provide on a permanent basis at Marsden Fire Station. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and HVMRT have demonstrated that one public safety organisation has the ability to assist and support another to the benefit of the whole community. We look forward to supporting the fundraising activities of HVMRT over the next two years’.
The HVMRT is on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in all conditions. The new base for the volunteer organisation ensures they will be able to continue helping the emergency services – West Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Ambulance Service as well as West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service – when called upon to provide assistance.
In addition, the Team also provides rescue cover for events including The Huddersfield Examiner Charity Challenge, Wakefield Hospice Walk, Colne Valley Lions Challenge and Holme Valley Scouts Cycle Challenge as well as attending local galas and fetes where the Team promotes safety in the outdoors.
A spokesman for the HVMRT commented on the sale: “After a long struggle it seems like we are finally securing a permanent base for the team. We greatly appreciate the opportunity West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority have given us to purchase the building, giving us security for the future and the ability to continue helping them and the other emergency services for years to come.
“We also hope that the people of Marsden will be reassured that the building will still be used as a base for rescue services, and will remain a valuable community asset – we know they have fought hard to support their local fire station and I believe the Fire Authority have considered this and strived to achieve an outcome that offers a benefit to the community, as well as supporting us as a charitable organisation.
“However, we’re not home and dry yet – over the next two years the team must raise considerable funds to complete the purchase and once again we must appeal to the public for their support to help us achieve this goal.
“We would urge the public to remember that the role of Mountain Rescue is much broader than just helping those who get into difficulty in upland areas – we are frequently called upon to search for missing people and to help extract casualties from difficult situations in all environments, not just on the moors and crags. The winter weather also adds to our duties every year – during bad conditions the Ambulance Service can sometimes struggle to get through to routine calls with the equipment they have. On those occasions, we are here to help.
We also consider prevention to be better than cure and as such take our educational role very seriously – informing the public how to stay safe whilst enjoying the outdoors hopefully reduces the number of incidents we may be called out to.”
“If the public didn’t donate, we wouldn’t be here and we are especially grateful for all the support we have had so far in our headquarters appeal – now the end is in sight and we hope the local community can help us raise the remaining funds to complete the purchase.”
(L to R) Assistant District Commander Lee Benson (WYFRS), Gillian Howarth (HVMRT), Phillip Pogson Chair of the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team, District Commander Chris Kirby (WYFRS), Tony Burrie (HVMRT), Cllr Judith Hughes Vice Chair of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority.