Today Cleveland Fire Authority has received notification from the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) that industrial action will take place by firefighters across the Country on Saturday 19 October from 6.30pm to 11.30pm. This is a national dispute surrounding pension arrangements between the FBU and Central Government.
Cleveland Fire Brigade has contingency arrangements in place to provide emergency cover during periods of disruption, which includes having fully trained and experienced, professional firefighters supported by auxiliary firefighters. The auxiliary firefighters have been receiving training over the last few weeks in all the activities they will be required to do, in order to support our professional firefighters not involved in strike action and this training gives the same skills as military firefighters who provided cover during the last national fire strike more than a decade ago.
Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Office at Cleveland Fire Brigade said: “We are disappointed that a negotiated settlement still has not been reached in this national dispute. The safety of our communities is, and always will be our number one priority, and I can reassure the public we will continue to provide a professional emergency response throughout any period of disruption. We will respond promptly to all emergency calls received and the community volunteers who have come forward to be trained as auxiliary firefighters will play a large part in that response.”
“During the last four hour strike held on the 25th September 2013 our auxiliaries performed really well, gaining experience and further on the job training. The Brigade received only two calls during this period of disruption and these were dealt with in the same way we deal with all calls at other times. We anticipate that we will be busier during this five hour strike as it is across a time of day and day of the week that usually attracts greater demand for emergency response services.
“We are asking members of the public to take extra care in order to reduce the risk of a fire in their homes, businesses and communities. Over the next few days we will provide advice, support and guidance on how to stay safe in the press, online and distributed across Cleveland, so please take some time to access and read this potentially lifesaving information.”
To help keep you, your family and your business safe from fire, you can find safety advice on our website here. You can also follow us on Twitter (@clevelandfb) or Facebook (/clevelandfb) and you will receive our news and a weekly reminder to test your smoke alarm.