Fire service prepares for four-day walkout

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Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is urging people to take extra care this weekend when planned industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) means that resources will be significantly reduced.

The union has proposed industrial action from 6pm on Friday, 31st October until 6pm on Tuesday 4th November, as part of its on-going dispute with the government over pensions.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has contingency plans in place to ensure 999 calls are responded to during industrial action, but the response times to incidents will be slower than usual.

Chief fire officer John Buckley said: “This four-day stretch signals a significant increase in the length of industrial action being taken and our resources will be limited.

“The public has done a great job in helping to keep the number of incidents to a minimum during previous periods of industrial action so far, and the advice we are giving to them this weekend remains the same as it has throughout the dispute: please take extra care to keep yourself and your family safe this weekend, and only dial 999 in a genuine emergency.

“Some people may be planning firework displays and bonfires for the coming weekend and I would urge anyone who decides to go ahead with this kind of event to ensure they are familiar with the firework code and not to take any chances when dealing with fireworks or any other naked flame.

“People should also be extra vigilant when travelling on our roads, which, of course, is important at any time of the year, but particularly so now that the clocks have gone back and more people may be travelling to and from work in the dark.”

Businesses also need to be aware of the reduced level of cover, which means that Automatic Fire Alarms will not be responded to unless followed up with a 999 call stating there is a genuine emergency. Business owners should also review their Fire Risk Assessments in light of the reduced resources and ensure they have plans in place should an emergency occur.

Mr Buckley added: “It is regrettable that the on-going dispute between the FBU and the government has not yet been resolved, which has been our wish for some time now. But, with the public’s help, let’s hope we can keep the number of incidents this weekend to a minimum and ensure a safe weekend for all.”