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Fire Brigades Union to Take Further Industrial Action

12th November 2013

As part of the ongoing national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the Government over the proposed reform of firefighter pension schemes nationally, a further strike date has been announced.

This will take place on Wednesday 13th November between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

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.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Andy Trowsdale said; “These arrangements have proved adequate in the recent strikes. However, during these strikes the Service did not experience any large incidents or high levels of calls. It is important to realise that there will be a reduced level of emergency cover [during the strike period], and it is especially important for the public to take extra care to keep themselves and their family safe”.

Safety tips for the public during the strike are:

  • Fit smoke alarms on every level of your home and test them weekly- only working smoke alarms save lives.
  • Check on elderly friends and family and make sure their smoke alarms are working
  • 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.
  • Make sure your home has a smoke alarm correctly fitted. Fit at least one alarm per floor.
  • 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 advice download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard you, your family and your home’ leaflet.

If you are a business owner we will aim to attend automatic fire alarms during the strike periods. 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 download a copy of our ‘Take Extra Care- Safeguard your Business’ leaflet.

 

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