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Fire chiefs offer reassurance to public over planned strike
FIRE chiefs are reassuring the community that they will still be able to provide a fire and rescue service across Cheshire if a planned national strike goes ahead.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced last week that their members had voted overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action as part of a dispute with the Government over plans to reform firefighter pensions.
Despite concerns over safety if and when firefighters strike, fire chiefs have reassured communities that procedures are in place to counteract the reduced workforce, with a major safety campaign also set to be launched.
Cheshire’s chief fire officer Paul Hancock said: “We have put in place plans and procedures that will enable us to continue to protect the communities of Cheshire should the strike go ahead.
“Clearly, however, there will be fewer fire engines and firefighters available than normal, and we will be launching a major safety campaign urging residents and businesses to take extra care during any periods of industrial action.”
Clr John Joyce, chairman of the fire authority, said: “It is important to highlight that the strikes being proposed relate to national issues rather than local ones, and that action will only be taken by those staff who are members of the FBU.
“We sincerely hope any strikes can be avoided, but if any action is taken we will be supporting the chief fire officer in making sure that there is still an emergency response service available to protect local communities.”
Home safety assessments will be carried out by non-operational staff to high risk households, and audits of business premises will continue regardless of any industrial action taken.
For more information about the potential strikes visit cheshirefire.gov.uk
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