Operational firefighters who recently left the service have been re-employed for strike periods
As part of the ongoing national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Government over the proposed reform of firefighter pension schemes nationally, a further strike date has been announced by the FBU from 7am on the 25th February for a period of 24 hours.
A large percentage of our firefighters are retained (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 many will be working as normal. These staffs are fully trained operational staff.
As a result of this there will be many fire stations in North Yorkshire, particularly in the more rural areas (where a lot of the retained stations are), that will be unaffected by the strike. In addition, we will move some fire engines so that they are closer to locations where crews will be striking to ensure there is fire cover in place across most of the area.
We have also taken the measure of reinforcing our emergency cover, for strike periods, by re-employing some operational firefighters, who recently left the Service. These individuals are in addition to our existing pool of staffs who are working during the strike.
Although we will seek to respond to all emergencies as quickly as possible this will not be a normal level of service as we will be operating with fewer, than normal, resources, and it is possible that it may take longer than usual for some fire engines to arrive if we are very busy.
We are asking that everyone takes extra care during this strike period and follows our tips below;
- Make sure you have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of your home and buy new batteries if they are needed
- Check on elderly/ vulnerable friends and relatives and check their smoke alarms are working.
- Take care when cooking, don’t leave pans and grills unattended. More than 50% of fires, attended by the fire service nationally, start in the kitchen.
- Make sure you drive for the weather conditions.
- Please only dial 999 if you have a real emergency.
If a fire does break out in your home; Get out, dial 999 and ask for the fire service, and stay out until the fire service arrive. For further advice download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard you, your family and your home’ leaflet which is available on our website. If you are a business owner we will aim to attend automatic fire alarms during the strike periods. However, our resources may be stretched and there may be a delay or we may send an officer rather than a fire engine.
If we are busy an automatic fire alarm on its own will be a low priority. If there is a 999 call from a premises where an alarm has activated confirming that there is a fire in the premises then we will prioritise these calls. Please do not call 999 just because your alarm has activated.
Our top tips to businesses are that they should make sure that:
- The fire risk assessment for the premises is up to date and has been acted on.
- Measures to reduce the risk of fire are in place and are working.
- Fire precautions in the building are working.
- The emergency plan is up to date and appropriate to ensure evacuation in case of fire without the need for fire service assistance.
- All staffs know what to do in case of fire.