Firefighters to take part in yet more industrial action

FIREFIGHTERS will be taking part in yet more industrial action in an escalation of their long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out for five hours from 7pm on December 24, for six hours from 6.30pm on December 31 and for two hours from 6.30am on January 3.

Between 7pm on December 27 and 7pm on December 29, all firefighters in the union will also refuse to work voluntary overtime.

The trade dispute between the union and Government relates to proposed changes to Firefighters pensions.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has a statutory duty to plan for industrial action in order to maintain an operational response capability.

As such, the service has in place a robust plan to deal with periods of industrial action.

During strike action there will be a reduction of the service’s available resources.

However, plans are in place to continue to provide appropriate emergency fire cover across the town.

This reduced fire cover is likely to provide a basic service and will aim to prioritise the most urgent calls ahead of other responses.

Area commander Jon Pryce, head of operations for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service, said: “While the industrial action is on-going we will still be responding to 999 calls, but we will be asking members of the public to take extra steps to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home.

“We realise that people may be concerned about strike action being called over the Christmas and New Year period and whilst we wouldn’t want to deter festive celebrations we would ask people to take some simple steps to keep themselves and their families safe.

“We would ask people to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes as this can provide them with an early warning if a fire should break out in their home. Above all else please remain vigilant.”

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