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Firefighters in Somerset stop work for four hours over pensions
This live event has finished
- Fire Brigades' Union angry over pension rights for members
- Stoppage between 12noon and 4pm on Wednesday
- Devon & Somerset Fire Service had contingency plans in place
Firefighters walk out on strike in Bridgwater Somerset. Picket line solid and great public support #fbupicket http://t.co/ML1oE4KlYl— @SouthWestFBU 25 September 2013
Firefighters at Taunton Fire Station, united on their picket line #fbupicket http://t.co/fRyygbvSXI— @SouthWestFBU 25 September 2013
FIREFIGHTERS on the picket lines are now returning to duty.
No serious incidents requiring the attendance of the Fire Brigade are known to have unfolded in Somerset during the four-hour stoppage.
THE scene a short time ago at Bridgwater Fire Station
THE picket line at Taunton Fire Station.
Good luck to my FBU comrades today— @Trotski2 25 September 2013
I don't like emergency service strikes, I like fairness towards public sector workers & support #FBU members right to be heard— @asbdw 25 September 2013
IN a statement released ahead of today's strike, Devon & Somerset Fire Service says all 999 calls between 12noon and 4pm will be answered.
The statement reads:
[The Service] is continuing to put contingency plans in place to ensure the public will receive a response to all 999 calls during periods of industrial action.
The majority of fire stations across Devon and Somerset are expected to be operating as usual during the strike announced by the Fire Brigades Union on Wednesday 25 September, 12noon-4pm.
However, some locations within the two counties will be affected by the strike and, although resilience cover will be in place, we are urging the public to take extra care during this time.
A resilient pool of non- Fire Brigades' Union firefighters are being used to respond to emergencies in these areas, but response times could be extended as a result. Unlike previous national strikes, there is no provision to use military assistance for emergency cover.
The vast majority of automatic fire alarms attended by the Service are false alarms. During the period of industrial action, unless there is a fire confirmed the Service will not be able to respond to automatic fire alarms from businesses.
Businesses are strongly encouraged to check their fire safety arrangements.
Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “The majority of our stations will be available and the public will get a response to an emergency wherever they are in Devon and Somerset.
“Although there will always be a response, due to the likelihood of a reduced service, we will be prioritising calls to emergencies where there is a risk to life.
“Periods of industrial action are always difficult for everyone involved and the public can help us at this time by taking extra care. The public and business owners will find safety advice on our website www.dsfire.gov.uk.”
The national strike has been announced as part of a dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and Government over proposed changes to pensions.
During periods of industrial action, every Fire & Rescue Service in the UK has a legal duty to maintain a level of service to local communities as best it can.
The Service's advice is to take extra care with these six steps:
• If you haven’t already got one, install a smoke alarm and test it every week
• Take extra care in the kitchen - this is where most fires start
• Check your electrical appliances - turn them off and don’t overload sockets
• If you smoke, put cigarettes out properly
• Sleep safe - check everything in your home every bedtime
• Plan a safe escape - make sure you know how to get out of your home in an emergency
MATT Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades' Union, said: “This initial strike is a warning shot to Government.
"Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.
“It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s: the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.
“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”
Good luck to #FBU members striking to defend their pensions today— @UCUMMoss 25 September 2013
MEMBERS of the Fire Brigades' Union in Devon and Somerset are preparing to down tools for four hours this afternoon is a dispute over pensions.
Some firefighters at stations across the two counties are planning to stop work for four hours between 12noon and 4pm.
Non-union members and retained firefighters are expected to cover the absences and Devon & Somerset Fire Service says contingency plans are in place.
However, the service has taken the opportunity to remind people about fire safety in the run up to the four-hour window.
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