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Safety call as second firefighter strike looms
7:00pm Friday 18th October 2013 in News
THE public has been urged to take extra care after the Fire Brigades Union announced a second strike date.
FBU members are due to strike between 6.30pm and 11.30pm tomorrow (October 19), as a result of an ongoing dispute with the Government over pension reforms.
Matt Wrack, of the FBU, said: “We’d hoped our first strike was enough to show the Government firefighters couldn’t be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.
“No firefighter wants to strike, but we simply can’t be expected to fight fires and rescue families in our late 50s and into our 60s, and shouldn’t pay far worse ratios in employeremployee contributions than those in the public or private sector.
“We hope this second strike will mean the Government will be willing to discuss the full range of concerns firefighters and the general public have expressed.
“However, more strikes can’t be ruled out if that’s what it takes to protect public and firefighter safety from these ludicrous attacks.”
The Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue Service has asked people to be particularly safety- conscious during the strike.
The service’s chief fire officer, Lee Howell, said: “Fire and rescue services have contingency plans, and ours will again be put in place ahead of this date for industrial action.
“Our plans worked well during the first period of action, but we’re asking the public to help us again by taking extra care.
“We’ll continue to respond to 999 calls and do everything we can to keep the public safe.”
Phil Martin, head of community fire safety for the service, said: “You can help us again by taking extra care and time to think about fire safety in your home during this period, checking smoke alarms, ensuring that you know what you’d do if there was a fire, and not making unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service.
“Businesses are reminded to be mindful of their responsibilities – it remains the responsibility of employers, landlords and other premises occupiers to comply with fire safety law.”
For safety advice visit www.dsfire.gov.uk
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