Cleveland Fire Brigade’s operational response service has returned back to normal following short periods of industrial action over the past eight consecutive days.
The industrial action was in relation to the FBU’s national dispute over pensions with central Government.
The withdrawal of military support during periods of industrial action by the Government has meant that fire and rescue services have to make other arrangements in order to provide emergency cover during periods of disruption.
Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer said: “This has been the longest period of sustained industrial action during this dispute, totalling 30 hours over eight days. During that period we dealt with 29 incidents which included house and business fires; the majority of incidents that we attended however were rubbish fires and automatic fire alarms.
“We had good contingency arrangements in place to provide emergency cover during these periods of disruption, which included having fully trained and experienced, professional firefighters supported by auxiliary firefighters who are similarly trained.
“Whilst these arrangements never fully replace the 21 fire engines and firefighters available to us under normal circumstances, the public can be reassured that we will and have provided a professional response at all times.
“Before and during the action the Brigade encouraged the public, business owners and road users to take extra care with fire and road safety during the strike periods. I am pleased to say that this appears to have had a great impact and the number of incidents remains low for this time of year. I would like to thank the public for their support in taking on board the safety messages we have been promoting.
“I would continue to urge the Government and the Fire Brigades Union to reconsider their respective positions and get back around the table and resolve this dispute.”
To help keep you, your family and your business safe from fire, you can find safety advice on our website at www.clevelandfire.gov.uk/safety. 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.