The Fire Brigades Union is to take further industrial action.
Over July and August 2013 the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) nationally, balloted firefighters for potential Industrial Action over the Government’s reform of firefighter pension schemes .The ballot result was announced on the 29th August and the FBU announced then that a strike would take place on Wednesday 25th September between 12noon-4pm.
On the 11th October a further strike date was announced; this will take place on Saturday 19th October between 6.30pm and 11.30pm.
A spokesperson for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said:
Other fire and rescue services have taken the step of recruiting members of the public to provide contingency cover during the strike periods. We have not taken this step as a large percentage of our firefighters are retained (i.e. part-time or on-call), and many of them are not members of the FBU, because of this they were not included in the strike ballot and will be working as normal. These staff are fully trained operational staff. As a result of this there will be many fire stations in North Yorkshire, particularly in the more rural areas, that are unaffected. In addition to these, we will be moving some fire engines so that they are closer to locations where crews will be striking to ensure there is fire cover in place across the whole area.
During the industrial action on the 25th September 2013, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service only attended 5 incidents, and none of these were fires or road traffic collisions. We are urging the public to again take extra care during the next period of strike action.
Whilst will be responding to emergency 999 calls during the strike period, we will still have fewer fire engines available overall so it is especially important for the public to take extra care to keep themselves and their family safe;
Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them weekly- only working smoke alarms save lives.
- Switch off and unplug electrical equipment when not in use, especially at night.
- Make sure cigarettes are extinguished properly.
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Keep candles away from items that can easily catch fire such as curtains.
- On the roads, check your speed and slow down. Drive to arrive.
- Always wear a seatbelt.
If a fire does break out in your home: Get out – Dial 999 and ask for the fire service – Stay out
We also ask that during the strike periods, the public only call 999 if they have a real emergency.
For further safety advice members of the public can download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard you, your family and your home’ leaflet from our website www.northyorksfire.gov.uk
If you are a business owner we will aim to attend automatic fire alarms during the strike period. However, our resources may be stretched and there may be a delay or we may send an officer rather than a fire engine.
If we are busy an automatic fire alarm on its own will be a low priority. If there is a 999 call from a premises where an alarm has activated confirming that there is a fire in the premises then we will prioritise these calls. Please do not call 999 just because your alarm has activated.
Our top tips to businesses are that they should make sure that;
- the fire risk assessment for the premises is up to date and has been acted on
- measures to reduce the risk of fire are in place and are working
- fire precautions in the building are working
- the emergency plan is up to date and appropriate to ensure evacuation in case of fire without the need for fire service assistance
- all staff know what to do in case of fire.
For further information business owners can download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard your Business’ leaflet from our website www.northyorksfire.gov.uk