Firefighters stage four-day strike in run-up to Bonfire Night

DISAPPOINTED: Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton.
DISAPPOINTED: Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton.

FIREFIGHTERS are to go on a four-day strike as part of the national pensions dispute - in the run-up to Bonfire Night.

The Fire Brigades Union announced today that its members across England will walk out at 6pm on Sunday, October 31, and stay out until 6pm on Tuesday, November 4.

Cleveland’s fire chief said talks are ongoing in the hope the strike can be avoided, but urged members of the public to take extra care.

The withdrawal of military support during periods of industrial action by the Government has meant that fire and rescue services have to make other arrangements in order to provide emergency cover during periods of industrial action.

Cleveland Fire Brigade has contingency arrangements in place to provide emergency cover during periods of disruption, which includes having fully trained and experienced, professional firefighters supported by auxiliary firefighters.

Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton said: “We are disappointed that a negotiated settlement still has not been reached in this national dispute despite the talks between the FBU and the Government, and that further strikes have been announced. Firefighters are demonstrating their frustration and anger by escalating strike action to a continuous four-day period.

“We understand the outrage felt by firefighters, who I believe have entered into discussions in good faith and received no improved offer in return.

“That said, the safety of our communities is, and always will be our number one priority, and I can reassure the public we will provide a professional emergency response throughout any period of disruption.

“We will respond promptly to all emergency calls received as we have in previous industrial action periods and the community volunteers who have come forward to be trained as auxiliary firefighters will play an important part in that response.

“Again we are asking members of the public to take extra care, particularly during the bonfire period, in order to reduce the risk of a fire in their homes, businesses and communities.

“Over the next week we will provide advice, support and guidance on how to stay safe in the press, online and distributed across Cleveland, so please take some time to access and read this potentially lifesaving information.”