Strike advice from Fire Service
THE striking fire service is urging the public to take extra care on Wednesday despite many fire stations in the area operating as usual.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue 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, September 25, from noon to 4pm.
Some locations within the two counties will be affected by the strike and, although resilience cover will be in place, firefighters are urging the public to take extra care.
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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.
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 and Rescue Service in the UK has a legal duty to maintain a level of service to local communities as best it can.
Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue 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
Find more safety advice and literature to download, including a poster to remind people to Take Extra Care during periods of Industrial Action, on www.dsfire.gov.uk.