Industrial action

The Fire Brigades Union will be taking strike action across all fire and rescue services in England and Wales on two days this week for a period of 4 hours on Friday 13th and Saturday 14th December between 6pm and 10pm.

The strike action has been called in support of the FBU campaign against changes to pensions proposed by the Department of Communities and Local Government.

John Redmond, Chief Fire Officer for Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service, commented, “Again similar to the last strike days, it is predominantly our wholetime fire stations, situated in Shrewsbury and Telford, that will be impacted by the planned strike. Our part time, or On-call, staffed fire stations, which are largely based in the more rural areas of Shropshire, are less likely to be affected.”

He went to say “I would like to thank the On Call crews on behalf of the Fire authority and the local community for the support provided by them during this dispute. Many of the stations are making extra efforts to provide cover in particular during the periods when the full time crews are out on strike”.

CFO Redmond went on to say “In addition to the On call crews we have put in place contingency arrangements to provide reduced emergency cover for the whole county. This has, for example, involved the staffing of fire engines with wholetime firefighters who are not taking industrial action”.

“Businesses are also being asked to play their part in reducing risk during these periods, by further helping to reduce the number of false alarms, caused by faulty automatic fire alarm systems, which require a response from our fire crews”, said Mr Redmond

He pointed out that the Service’s Fire Control, who deal with the 999 calls in Shropshire, will be unaffected by strike action. He stated that “Our administration staff will be working as normal, however some business and community fire prevention work is likely to be cut back.”

“We are asking people to only call 999 if they really do need a fire engine. Our priority is to respond to calls where a life may be at risk, or someone needs to be rescued. If we respond to non-emergency calls then those most in need could be at risk.”

“We do find ourselves in an unusual situation where we must prioritise our calls for those who are most in need of our assistance. However, I must emphasise that you should still call 999 in an emergency so that an experienced control room operator can deal with your situation. You must not try and call your local fire station directly,” said Mr Redmond.

Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a ten point plan for safety around the house, at work, and on the road.

  • Make sure your smoke alarm works.
  • All the family must know what to do to escape from a fire in their home.
  • Cooking causes most fires – take extra care in the kitchen and don’t leave pans unattended.
  • Avoid late night cooking sessions after drinking alcohol – eat out.
  • Close internal doors to avoid fire spreading.
  • Turn off electrics when not in use.
  • Keep matches away from children.
  • Ensure your car tyres are regularly checked.
  • Don’t text or call while driving.
  • If you run a business – ensure your alarm detection equipment is serviced and does not go off unnecessarily.
  • If you are having a bonfire or fireworks celebration stay safe and follow the firework code .
11th December, 2013