When news happens, text CHRON and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email & phone.
Hampshire firefighters to strike today
8:59am Wednesday 25th September 2013 in News
THEY are the commonsense steps that could just help save lives this afternoon.
With hundreds of firefighters across Hampshire walking out on strike today, residents have been warned that now – more than ever – they need to stay safe in their homes, at work and on the roads.
Fire chiefs have already warned they will not be able to respond to 999 calls as quickly when crews down tools from Noon to 4pm.
And although it is not known how many of the 1,500 employees will actually take part in the industrial action, homeowners have been given special instructions to keep call-outs to a minimum.
Bosses say they will have a safe level of cover during the strike, called after negotiations between the Fire Brigade Union and the Government ended in stalemate over pension reforms.
They say that they will have 38 appliances on standby – half the usual amount.
Residents have been told to be extra-vigilant at home and ensure they observe five key areas of advice at home that will help drive down the number of emergency calls.
They include making sure a working smoke alarm is fitted, taking extra care in the kitchen, checking electrics, planning a safe escape route and taking care with cigarettes or – better still – not smoking at all.
Residents are also being encouraged to consider calling other relevant agencies for non-emergency incidents, such as someone being locked out of their house or debris having fallen in a road.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer, Neil Odin, said: “The service is ready and prepared for the FBU strike. We have been planning for some time and this will enable us to respond to emergencies.
“If you have an emergency, dial 999 and we will send an emergency response but our response will be limited and may take a little longer. Our response will focus on the highest risks to life.
“We encourage members of the public to take extra care during the industrial action in their home, workplace and on the road.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack has said that the strike today is “a warning shot” to the Government about “protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions”.
He added: “It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s – the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.
“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”
Comments are closed on this article.