Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Fire service prepared as national strike possible

Communities are being reassured that a professional fire and rescue service will be maintained in the county despite today's announcement that union members have voted in favour of industrial action.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) balloted its members for industrial action over national pension arrangements, with a strike now possible but no date set.

Although the dispute is outside the control of Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service, around 130 wholetime staff and a smaller number of retained firefighters in the county are members of the FBU and could support a potential strike.

During any industrial action, a reduced emergency response service would be provided, but local people and businesses are being assured that a significant contingency plan is in place to offer them the best protection possible.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "We have substantial contingency plans in place but are still hopeful that these will not be needed. We want to reassure local people that we will endeavour to ensure people get the fire and rescue service they deserve."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "This is a national strike and not one we can do anything about, however we can make sure that the county is fully prepared and that's why very thorough plans are in place for the period being discussed."

ENDS

Notes to Editors

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service offers free Home Fire Safety Checks and fits smoke alarms free of charge for elderly and vulnerable people in the community. Call 0800 180 41 40 to arrange a visit.

Issued by: Keith Coles, Gloucestershire County Council media team, 01452 425391

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29th August 2013