Fire service resumes after strikes

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FIRE service operation has returned to normal after two periods of industrial strike action within two and a half days.

There were no incidents in the Cleveland Fire Brigade area during the walkout staged by members of the Fire Brigades (FBU) from 6am-8am on Monday.

In the County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service area there were no incidents in Peterlee but there was a road traffic collision on the A66 at Stainmore, near Barnard Castle.

The incident involved a lorry and two saloon cars and two fire engines were sent but no action was needed from firefighters.

The Cleveland brigade received 15 call-outs to bonfires and small rubbish fires during Friday’s strike, from 6.30pm-11pm, with the only incident in Hartlepool being a rubbish fire in Hart Lane at 8pm.

Members of the public trained as auxiliary firefighters were sent to tackle the fire, working alongside firefighters not involved in the walkout.

The Durham and Darlington service attended 12 incidents during Friday’s strike, including a road traffic collision, garage fire, a flooding incident and a number of small fires, with none in the Peterlee area.

The industrial action was over an ongoing national dispute between the FBU and the Government over pension scheme proposals.

The two walkouts follow a four-hour strike on September 25.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The next step forward for pension negotiations is simple and achievable.

“If the government is serious about firefighters being protected from being sacked without access to their pensions as it claims to be, why won’t it draft the pension regulations accordingly?”