999 Calls Will Be Answered During Strike Says Fire Chief

Shropshire’s chief fire officer says that emergency calls to serious fires and rescues will be answered and dealt with normally during a 24-hour strike by firefighters due to begin on Tuesday morning.

John Redmond says contingency plans are in place to ensure that emergency calls and response times will be unaffected by the strike but he has urged the public to think twice before making a 999 call.

“I want to make it clear that the people of Shropshire will be protected during the strike but I would ask them to dial 999 only if they have a real emergency. Our top priority is to respond to calls where a life may be in danger or urgent rescue is needed,” John Redmond said.

Tuesday’s 24 hour strike by members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) begins at 9am and is the latest action in a long-running dispute between the FBU and central government over proposed changes to firefighters’ pensions and retirement rules.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue has 23 fire stations across the county and the strike will predominately affect “whole-time” fire stations in Shrewsbury and Telford. The SFRS’s 19 “on-call” fire stations are staffed by part-time crews and are much less likely to be affected by Tuesday’s strike.

Part-time crews not involved in the dispute will staff two additional fire engines to provide extra protection in Shrewsbury and Telford during the 24 hour stoppage.

“Everything is in place to ensure that we can provide protection for the people of Shropshire during this latest strike,” John Redmond said.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue has issued a ten point plan for safety at home, at work and on the road:

  • Check smoke alarms to make sure they are working
  • Make sure your family know what to do to escape from a fire in your home
  • Most domestic fires start in the kitchen so take extra care and don’t leave pans unattended
  • Avoid late night cooking sessions after drinking alcohol
  • Turn off electric appliances and power points after use
  • Keep matches and cigarette lighters away from children
  • Check your car tyres regularly
  • Don’t use a mobile phone while driving. It’s dangerous and illegal
  • Close internal doors to stop fire spreading
  • Businesses: Service your alarm systems regularly to avoid false alarms.
8th December, 2014