Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Response to car crash shows importance of cover during fire strike

Firefighters who provided emergency cover during the national firefighters strike have been praised for their quick response when attending a multiple car crash on the A40.

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) maintained a slightly reduced operation during the industrial action, which was held across the country from 12pm to 4pm on Wednesday as part of a Fire Brigades Union (FBU) campaign on pension arrangements.

Although the number of emergency calls received by fire control during the four-hour period was low, the call to the collision near Longford in Gloucester came in at 3.50pm - 10 minutes before the strike period ended.

With normal provision unavailable, fire control mobilised the contingency arrangements, which were on scene in eight minutes.

Three people were injured in the crash. One man was trapped in the wreckage and firefighters worked hard to cut him free before he was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "We're all hoping that the casualties make a full and rapid recovery, but this incident showed why it is so important that we ensure fire and rescue cover is maintained throughout the dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and Government."

"Without getting involved in the rights and wrongs of the disagreement, this authority is rightly concerned with ensuring the safety of the people of Gloucestershire and we will continue to do that should action escalate."

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "We always said that maintaining cover was our top priority in a dispute which is out of our hands. I am extremely grateful to the vast majority of staff who continued to work and, in particular, the crews who responded to this horrific crash."

ENDS

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

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27th September 2013