A senior fire officer with Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) has thanked the public for taking extra care during the two periods of national strike action by the Fire Brigades Union over the past few days.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) went out on strike on Friday evening and this morning (Monday 4th) Bedfordshire during either strike.
Glen Ranger, BFRS deputy chief fire officer said: “At any time, we want the public to do what they can to prevent fires and other emergencies from happening, but that’s even more important when we have a reduced level of service, as we’ve had during these strikes. “And the public response in Bedfordshire has been excellent – the number of calls we have had during the strikes so far has been notably less than normal.
“We encouraged people to ‘Be safer… Be slower… Be vigilant’ and it appears that they have heeded that message, and I want to thank them for their actions to protect their properties and prevent emergencies.”
BFRS had put contingency plans in place to cover the strike periods, ensuring that fire crews with fully trained firefighters and officers were on hand in the event of any 999 calls that required an emergency response.
However, the service had acknowledged that these plans would only be able to provide a reduced level of service compared to normal day to day cover.
Deputy chief fire officer Glen Ranger said:“It was vital that the Service had plans in place so that we could still answer emergency 999 calls and respond where a person’s life was at risk.
“Whilst these plans could never be able to match the service’s normal day-to-day cover, we are satisfied with the way that they have worked.
“Fully trained firefighters and officers who were not on strike enabled us to provide a reduced level of fire cover for the county supported by colleagues in fire control who answered all 999 calls as normal.
“I’d like to thank them all for their help.”
During the four-and-a-half-hour period of strike action on Friday there were just four 999 calls.
One incident of burnt cooking in student accommodation at Bedfordshire University’s Polhill Campus; one lorry fire which was out on arrival; a false alarm and an AFA which didn’t require a response.
During this morning’s strike there were no notable incidents.