Firefighters plan fresh wave of strikes next week

Published: 6 Dec 2013 14:000 comments

THE Fire Brigades' Union (FBU) has announced further strike action over a pension dispute with the Government.

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Firefighters will stage a fresh wave of protests from 6-10pm on Friday and Saturday next week.

FBU is in a national dispute with the Government over changes to firefighters' pensions and working arrangements.

Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) has contingency plans in place and chief fire officer, Andy Fry, said: “At this time of year we are all preparing for Christmas and are out and about shopping or celebrating with friends and family so, once again, we are asking everyone to ‘Take Extra Care’ during this next period of strike action. As before, we will still be answering and responding to 999 calls, although we will be prioritising ‘life critical’ incidents, such as house fires and road traffic collisions where people are trapped.

“You can help keep yourself and your family safe by ensuring you have smoke alarms fitted to every level of your home and testing the batteries regularly to make sure they are working. It’s also important to make an escape plan in advance, so you and everyone you live with knows how to get out of the house quickly and safely in an emergency. Most house fires start in the kitchen, so please take extra care when cooking and never leave it unattended. Please also be careful not to overload your electrical sockets and if you smoke, make sure your cigarette is properly extinguished when you’ve finished it.

“We are also asking people to reduce demand during the strike period by only calling 999 in a genuine emergency. For non-emergencies, please call the appropriate organisation – for example, a locksmith if you are locked out of your house or the local authority if a tree has fallen in the road. If you do have a fire, our advice remains to get out of the house, stay out and call 999."

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