Firefighters' strike will not affect public safety, says Devon and Somerset Fire Service (From Somerset County Gazette)
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Firefighters' strike will not affect public safety, says Devon and Somerset Fire Service
OFFICIALS at Devon and Somerset Fire Service have given an assurance that next week’s strike will not be at the expense of public safety.
The Fire Brigades Union yesterday announced they are to stage a four-hour strike on September 25 between noon and 4pm, but officials have confirmed that contingency plans have already been made for the strike period.
Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said: “Like all other Fire and Rescue Ser-vices we have contingency plans prepared and will now put these arrangements in place ahead of the first strike.
“We will continue to respond to 999 calls and will do everything we can to keep the public safe, including during any national fire strike.”
Phil Martin, head of community fire safety for the service, has urged people to take extra care during the strike.
“He said: “You can help us by taking extra care and time to think about fire safety in your home during this period – checking smoke alarms, ensuring you know what you would do if there was a fire and not making unnecessary calls to the fire and rescue service.”
Firefighters at Taunton Fire Station are to partake in the strike but Blue Watch Commander Bill Williams said: “Not all fire-fighters are taking industrial action and those who are do so reluctantly; not everyone voted for action in the form of a strike at Taunton.
“People are naturally concerned they will be out of a job, if they are unable to maintain fitness up to the age of 60 and then concerned they will not get their pension, possibly for many years after.”
Businesses are also reminded to be mindful of their responsibilities, as during periods of industrial action the service may be unable to respond to fire safety enquiries within its usual timescales.
It remains the responsibility of employers, landlords and other premises occupiers to comply with fire safety law.
For latest information and advice for businesses visit www.dsfire.gov.uk
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