Firefighters striking next week
FIREFIGHTERS in Gloucestershire and South Gloucestershire are set to strike next week, with slower response times expected throughout the region.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) have decided on industrial action over national pension arrangements, with a strike date now planned for Wednesday, September 25 from noon to 4pm.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is keen to reassure residents that a professional service will be maintained in the county despite the strike.
Although the dispute is outside the control of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, some firefighters in the county are members of the FBU and could support the strike.
During the industrial action, a reduced emergency response service will be provided which may mean slower response times.
Gloucestershire’s chief fire officer Jon Hall said their planning assumption was that some of the fire stations would not be operational during the strike.
"But we have substantial contingency plans in place with the majority of our retained fire stations due to be operational and non-striking staff based at further back-up stations in the county," he said.
"As ever, we will endeavour to ensure people get the fire and rescue service they deserve."
Residents are also being encouraged to avoid making unnecessary 999 calls and reduce the risk of fire in their homes and businesses.
Further arrangements have been made for potential large-scale incidents, including sharing resources of neighbouring services.
Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFRS) is also urging its residents to reduce the risk of fire to their properties as they prepare to run a skeleton service.
AN AFRS spokesman said fire cover would be provided in the main by firefighters who are not part of the FBU, working alongside auxiliary firefighters who have received training to provide basic support to fully-qualified crews.
AFRS chief fire officer Kevin Pearson said: "Although we have contingency arrangements in place, the reality is we will not be in a position to provide the excellent emergency response we usually do.
"In the lead up to and during the strike I would ask local people to take steps to ensure their homes and businesses are as safe as possible. "Although we will be prioritising calls our advice remains the same - if you have a fire you should get out, stay out and call 999."
Both services will be prioritising calls to emergencies where there is a risk to life during the strike.
Comments are closed on this article.