Jan/February 2003

  All change at the Fire Station....


...hello again and goodbye ...
from Sub Officer Stephen Wolstenholme
of Pudsey Fire Station.

Yes I’m afraid our short, but hopefully sweet, friendship must come to an end.

If you don’t yet know, I am sad to inform you that Pudsey Fire Station is closing down on Monday 10th February. Many of the station personnel are to be relocated at the new Stanningley Fire Station and some, like myself are having to move further a field.


Copyright West Yorkshire Fire Service

The closure coincides also with the closure of Bramley Fire Station and some personnel from there will also be going to Stanningley. The plan is to close both stations and provide the new one some where in between. The two fire engines and the aerial appliance from Bramley are going to the new station and also an additional special appliance from Bradford Fire Station which carries a variety of equipment. It was intended that Pudsey’s fire engine would go to Fairweather Green which is a fire station at the far side of Bradford but due to a shortage of personnel this cannot now happen until later in the year.

It has been a sad move for those of us at Pudsey, and I’m sure also for those at Bramley. Many have worked at the station for a great number of years, in fact David Chapman, a firefighter on my shift has served the whole of his 24 years service there. As you can imagine, David has many stories to tell from over the years and in typical fire service tradition these are always highly amusing – even the ones which really shouldn’t be laughed at! Space doesn’t allow for all these tales to be retold here, in fact I’m sure many of them would be most unsuitable for you to read – after all I’ve no idea how old you are dear reader!


© West Yorkshire Fire Service
I myself have been at Blue Watch Pudsey for almost 18 months, having been promoted there from Bradford Fire Station. Blue Watch have been my first Watch Commander’s post and I have really enjoyed my time with them. I will take with me many good memories and much experience gained.

Looking back over those 18 months to try and pick the best moment for me during my time with Blue Watch is very difficult, not just because they have been such good friends but also because they were so professional in their work. Whether dealing with ‘yet another rubbish fire’ or a fatal car crash the lads always worked hard and conscientiously.

I think if I was to pick a moment to try and sum them up it would have to be the time we turned out from the picket-line during the strike in December last year. The details of the incident are well documented in last months article so I won’t go over them again here, but having seen the selfless and professional manner in which they worked to try and save that lady’s life was for me a very proud and humble moment.

As ever I will finish on a fire safety note, in fact one inspired by an ‘amusing tale’ involving myself which the lads insist I mention! Some of you may remember a large factory fire which occurred in Hunslet earlier this year. The blaze was so severe that the expertise and knowledge of Blue Watch Pudsey were called upon, and so just after midnight we set off on our way across Leeds to help out our colleagues on that side of the brigade.

We were there for over 5 hours and there are a few tales to tell from the incident itself, but the story of issue here begins during our return to Pudsey. It had been a bitterly cold night at the incident and we hadn’t slept for almost twenty four hours. We were due to finish shift at 9 o’clock and so with 3 more hours to go I said we should call in at the Owlcotes ASDA on our way back to station and I would buy some sausages and bacon for breakfast. I said that whilst the crew were cleaning and readying the equipment I would cook them breakfast as a treat.

Well, once back at station I got the oven fired up and put the bangers and bacon in on a low light so they could be cooking whilst I completed some paperwork. A short while later whilst tapping away at the computer keyboard, the bells went down again this time sending us with a Bradford fire engine to a fire alarm at a large factory in Idle Fire Station area. The journey out there was marred by a lady who stopped her car to let us pass only to be bumped from behind by a car who was travelling too close to stop. Thankfully neither party were injured.

The incident at the factory was pretty straightforward and the Leading Firefighter on the Bradford fire engine had almost sorted the matter out when we arrived. Once the factory had been checked out and the night watchman advised to reset the alarm we set off back to Pudsey.

As we were passing through Calverley I suddenly remembered that I’d left the breakfast still cooking in the oven! I’m afraid I can’t mention some of the comments passed to me from the crew as many of them would be most unsuitable for you to read ....

As we turned down Bradford Road from the roundabout at Dawson’s Corner I strained to try and see if the fire station was still standing. It was, but there was thick grey smoke showing through the kitchen windows and canteen. The pump had barely come to a halt before my feet touched the floor and I ran upstairs. The acrid smoke made my nose and eyes stream but 24 years of fire fighting experience came to the fore and armed only with a pair of oven gloves I managed to carry the remains of our breakfast out to fresh air.

The smoke took a while longer to clear but with the aid of the kitchen extractor fan and a few strategically opened windows the station became habitable again in time for the day shift at 9 o’clock.

And that leads me nicely in to this months fire safety topic:


Please remember the following advice when cooking especially when using oil in pans, otherwise you may be even more unfortunate than myself.

  •  Ensure the food is dry before placing it in hot oil
  •  Never fill a pan more than one-third full of fat or oil
  •  Never leave cooking unattended (I should know!)
  •  If the oil starts to smoke – turn off the heat and leave to cool

    If a pan should catch fire:
  •  Do not move it
  •  Turn off the heat if it is safe to do so
  •  Cover the pan with a DAMP cloth or tea towel
  •  Leave the pan for at least 30 mins.
  • If you are in any doubt whether to put the pan fire out yourself then DON’T – leave the room, close the door and call for the fire service.

So, that’s it from me. I have spoken to a colleague about the possibility of him taking over this web page due to my absence and he seems really keen.

His name is Nigel Atkin and he is moving from Pudsey Fire Station to the new Stanningley Fire Station and will therefore be able to keep you updated as to what has been happening in the Pudsey area over the coming months.


  Last months article..... Click here


Farewell and keep safe. Don’t forget, if you want any fire safety advice or a free home fire safety check you will be able to get in touch with the crews at Stanningley Fire Station, I know they will look after you just as well as we did at Pudsey.


If you want to get in touch with me regarding anything to do with the fire service, drop me an email via  safe@pudsey.com

Visit the web site of the West Yorkshire Fire Service where you will find more information and links.

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