Public offered advice as firefighters start series of short strikes

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The public are being urged to consider safety issues as firefighters go on a series of short strikes which started today, Monday, July 14.

Senior fire officers have advised the public not to be complacent about their safety during the forthcoming series of strikes, called by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The FBU has announced a series of 15 two-hour strikes over the next couple of weeks, as part of its dispute with the Government over pension conditions.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service (BFRS) has said that it will put contingency plans in place to cover each of the short strikes to ensure that 999 calls will still be answered.

However, members of the public are also being advised to do what they can to prevent emergencies from happening.

Area Commander Ian Evans, BFRS Head of Operations said: “Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service has well practiced plans to continue to deliver services during the periods of FBU strike action, and these will be put into place. We will have fully trained BFRS fire fighters and fire officers ready to respond.”

“However, as with any period of strike action, this will be a reduced service, compared to normal. We will prioritise any 999 calls we receive, so that we can respond to those with a potential threat to life.”

Area Commander Evans added: “We will also need the support and help of the public to minimise the risk of fire and other emergencies. Therefore, we want to encourage members of the public to test their smoke alarms as soon as possible, and replace any dead batteries. In view of the timing of these strikes, the greatest risks are likely to be on the roads, in rush hour; and when cooking at home. 60 per cent of fires in the home start in the kitchen – so our advice is never to leave cooking unattended.”

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that its members will hold industrial action as follows:

Monday 14th July to Thursday 17th July (inclusive): From 6.00 am to 8.00 am (2 hours) AND from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm (2 hours)

Friday 18th July: From 6.00 am to 8.00 am (2 hours) AND from 11.00 pm until 1.00am on Saturday 19th July (2 hours).

Saturday 19th July: From 11.00 am to 1.00 pm (2 hours) AND from 11.00 pm until 1.00am on Sunday 20th July (2 hours)

Sunday 20th July: From 5.00 pm to 7.00 pm (2 hours)

Monday 21st July: From 6.00 am to 8.00 am (2 hours) AND from 5.00 pm until 7.00 pm (2 hours)

For further information about the strike and for more detailed safety advice visit: -