Gloucestershire Fire & Rescue Service Press Release

Residents assured fire crews are fully prepared in face of strikes

Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is once again reassuring communities that a professional service will be maintained in the county during two national strikes scheduled for the next week.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has called for its members to engage in industrial action over national pension arrangements, with strikes now planned for Friday 1st November from 6.30pm to 11pm and Monday 4th November from 6am to 8am.

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

The Union called a four-hour strike in September and, although contingency resources were largely not called upon, the service had 24 engines at its disposal - just short of the average.

Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "The significant contingency plans we have once again put in place mean that, for the Gloucestershire service, it's pretty much business as usual."

"As always I would urge residents and business owners to make sure they do everything they can to stay safe in their homes or workplace."

More information and advice for residents can be found at www.glosfire.gov.uk or www.direct.gov.uk/firekills

Cllr Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "We are still hopeful that a national strike can be avoided, but this isn't our fight. What we can ensure is that we are fully prepared in the county for any industrial action."

"Contingency plans are in place once again. However, it is still very important that local people are aware of how best to stay safe from fires and what to do in case of an emergency."

Further arrangements have been made for potential large-scale incidents, including sharing resources of neighbouring services.

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

30th October 2013