The busiest strike yet, say brigade

Firefighters during the strike action over the weekend
Firefighters during the strike action over the weekend

FIRE brigade bosses say they experienced their busiest period of strike action so far in the dispute.

Three periods of strikes were staged on Friday, Saturday and Sunday in relation to the Fire Brigades Union’s national dispute over pensions with central Government.

Cleveland Fire Brigade have contingency arrangements in place to provide emergency cover during periods of disruption.

There were 41 call-outs across the brigade area, including a report of smoke in Worset Lane, Hartlepool, house fires in West View Road and Mansepool Close, and controlled burning in Braid Crescent, Billingham.

Officers also attended two non-fire incidents, at Hartlepool Police Station and the Borough Hall.

Ian Hayton, Chief Fire Officer, said the brigade encouraged people and business owners to take extra care during the strike and it appears to have had an impact.

But he added: “It has been our busiest period of strike action so far with 25 calls being received on Saturday alone.

“Our resilience arrangements performed well dealing with gas leaks, house fires, rubbish fires, lift rescues, automatic fire alarms, vehicle fires and fuel spillages.

“While our contingency arrangements never fully replace the 21 fire engines and firefighters available to us under normal circumstances, the public can be reassured that we will provide a professional response at all times.

“In terms of the possibility of further potential action, I would continue to urge the Government and the Fire Brigades Union to get back around the table and negotiate a settlement to this dispute.”

, which include having fully trained and experienced, professional firefighters supported by auxiliary firefighters