CHESHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has reassured the public that it will be able to deal with the upcoming strike action – although it has asked the public to be extra vigilant.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union have announced a further two periods of industrial action.
The first will take place on Friday between 6.30pm and 11pm. The second is planned to take place on Monday, between 6am and 8am.
The industrial action is being taken due to disputes between the Government and the Fire Brigades Union about pensions. Under Government plans the retirement age for firefighters will be increased to 65. The FBU argue this would not be safe for the public and would also lead to many firefighters losing their jobs before they were allowed to take a full pension as they would fail the rigorous fitness tests required to carry on service.
A Cheshire Fire spokesman said: “We have plans and procedures in place that will enable us to continue to protect the communities of Cheshire during strike periods.
However, as we do have less fire engines available we once again encourage everyone to take extra care during the strike.
“It is especially important to be extra vigilant on Friday night as this falls within the bonfire period, which is traditionally a very busy time for fire crews.
“We urge people to only attend organised bonfire and firework displays and to consider holding bonfire and firework displays on Saturday or Sunday evening when a greater number of fire engines will be available should there be an issue.
“In addition make sure you have a working smoke alarm installed in your home, know exactly how to get out of your home if a fire was to break out and ensure wheelie bins are locked away.
“Be especially careful when cooking, as this is the biggest cause of accidental fires.
Remember to make sure you have a clean grill and don’t leave any form of cooking unattended.
“We also advise people and businesses to avoid doing anything else that could increase the risk of a fire breaking out and ensure that you take extra care while driving.”
For more safety information visit our www. cheshirefire.gov.uk or follow Cheshire Fire on Twitter #takeextracare and Facebook.