Firefighters on strike across Berkshire

Published: 12 Jun 2014 09:300 comments

FIREFIGHTERS in Berkshire are on strike for 24 hours starting at 9am today (Thursday).

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The 24-hour strike is the longest yet in the three-year campaign.

Another, shorter strike is set for 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 21.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will also not carry out any voluntary overtime or conduct training of strikebreakers between the beginning of the first strike and 9am on Sunday, June 22.

The strikes come as the Government wants to increase the age firefighters must work to.

The decision to strike was made by the Fire Brigades Union’s executive last Wednesday.

General secretary Matt Wrack said: “The Government must accept that firefighters simply will not give up fighting for their futures – and our fire and rescue service. Concerns over these unworkable proposals remain as valid and grave as ever, and the government has ignored all the evidence including it’s own reports.

“It is as ever a difficult decision for us to take, but the only way for us to resolve this unnecessary and costly dispute is for the Government to start listening to reason.”

Berkshire’s chief fire officer Andy Fry has urged people to be as helpful as during the previous strikes. He said: “Although we will still be answering and responding to 999 calls, we will again be asking you to be especially careful during these upcoming periods of strike action. As we have done previously, we will be prioritising 'life critical’ incidents, such as house fires and road traffic collisions where people are trapped.

“You have helped us during previous strikes by dialling 999 only in a genuine emergency and we are asking you to do the same this time. There are lots of simple steps you can take to help keep yourself and your family safe. These include ensuring you have smoke alarms fitted to every level of your home and testing the batteries weekly to make sure they are in good working order.

“It is also important to make an escape plan in advance, so you and everyone you live with, or who may be visiting, knows how to get out of the house quickly and safely in an emergency.”

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