WINCHESTER firefighters are amongst thousands across the country on strike today in a row over pensions.

The walk-out, which is the longest yet in the campaign by members of the Fire Brigades Union, started at 9am this morning, and will end at 9am tomorrow (June 13).

Both appliances at Winchester Fire Station are unmanned, with calls being answered by Sutton Scotney, Alresford, Droxford, Wickham, Eastleigh and Stockbridge stations.

A Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman said: “Calls are still being answered and all calls are being responded to, it’s just that response times may be a little longer.

“Both pumps are off the run at the moment, but that could change throughout the 24 hour period.”

In April firefighters’ pension contributions increased for the third year running, to 14.2 per cent, typically paying £4,000 a year from a £29,000 salary.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union, has called for a televised debate on the proposals, which the union says are unworkable, unfair and unaffordable.

The next strike is planned for Saturday, June 21, between 10am and 5pm.