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Fire Brigades Union takes industrial action over government’s reform of firefighter pension schemes

Published on 4 October 2013
The Fire Authority is greatly concerned about the impact on wider community safety in the county

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service offers advice to households

Over July and August 2013 the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) nationally, balloted firefighters for potential Industrial Action over the Government’s reform of firefighter pension schemes.

The ballot result was announced on the 29th August and the FBU announced recently that a strike will take place on Wednesday 25th September between 12noon-4pm.

Whilst this is clearly a national matter, the Fire Authority is greatly concerned about the impact on wider community safety in the county.

Other fire and rescue services have taken the step of recruiting members of the public to provide contingency cover during this time. We have not taken this step as a large percentage of our firefighters are retained (i.e. part-time or on-call), and many of them are not members of the FBU, because of this they were not included in the strike ballot and will be working as normal. These staff are fully trained operational staff.

As a result there will be many fire stations in North Yorkshire, particularly in the more rural areas, that are unaffected. In addition to these, we are putting some fire engines near to locations where crews will be striking.

Although we do have fire cover in place across the area, there are still fewer fire engines available overall, so whilst we will still be answering and responding to emergency calls during this time, it is very important for the public to take extra care to keep themselves and their family safe from fire.

Chief Fire Officer Nigel Hutchinson said; “I want to reassure the public that emergency (999) calls will still be answered during this time and contingency plans have been put in place to ensure we can still respond to emergency incidents.

“However, it would greatly help us if members of the public took extra steps during this time to reduce the risk of fires breaking out in their home.”

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service would like to offer the following advice to households;

  • Switch off and unplug electrical equipment when not in use, especially at night.
  • Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly.
  • Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Keep candles away from items that can easily catch fire such as curtains.
  • Make sure your home has a smoke alarm correctly fitted. Fit at least one alarm per floor.
  • Test smoke alarms weekly- only working smoke alarms save lives
  • If a fire does break out in your home;
  • Get out
  • Dial 999 and ask for the fire service
  • Stay out

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