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Fire chief pledges 999 calls will still be answered when firefighters strike
FIRE chiefs have pledged that 999 calls will still be answered when firefighters go on strike next week in a row over pensions.
The FBU announced this afternoon that a strike will take place next Wednesday between noon and 4pm over Government reforms of firefighter pension schemes.
The union’s general secretary Matt Wrack said this initial strike was a ‘warning shot’ to the Government.
North Yorkshire Chief Fire Officer Nigel Hutchinson said: “I want to reassure the public that emergency (999) calls will still be answered during this time and contingency plans have been put in place to ensure we can still respond to emergency incidents.
“However, it would greatly help us if members of the public took extra steps during this time to reduce the risk of fires breaking out in their home.”
A service spokesman said that unlike other fire and rescue services, North Yorkshire had not recruited members of the public to provide contingency cover because a large percentage of its firefighters were retained and many fire stations would be unaffected.
He dsaid some fire engines would also be located near to stations where crews would be striking.
Humberside Fire and Rescue Service’s Chief Fire Officer, Richard Hanningan, said he understood how important pensions were but the safety of the community must come first and he was disappointed that union members had chosen to take this route.
“We have confidence in our robust plans that will enable us to provide an emergency response service," he said.
"However this will be greatly reduced from what we can ordinarily provide and what the public expect.”