08:00 Friday 13 December 2013

Plea for caution during fire strike action

Written byROB SMYTH

Swadlincote Fire Station Swadlincote Fire Station

FIRE chiefs are urging people in Burton and South Derbyshire to continue to be cautious ahead of the latest Fire Brigades Union strikes.

Firefighters from both areas are set to down tools from 6pm to 10pm tonight and tomorrow evening as they continue to fight for a better deal when it comes to pensions and working conditions.

Now, fire bosses are urging people to be ‘vigilant and extra careful’ during the latest industrial action.

Staffordshire’s chief fire officer Peter Dartford said: “Members of the community have really taken our advice on board during previous strike action.

“I would like to thank them for their vigilance and urge them to do so again this weekend.

“The nights are drawing in now, making driving conditions more hazardous than usual, and the forecast for tomorrow is rain which adds to the potential level of risk.

“Friday and Saturday evenings are also the busiest in our town centres, particularly at this time of year as the party season gets under way.

“If you are going out to pubs and clubs and enjoying an alcoholic drink, leave the car at home. Also, don’t be tempted to cook when you get back after a night out – the consequences can be devastating.

“I would like to assure people that we will answer all 999 calls to the service during the industrial action and will respond to all life-risk incidents.

“However, our capacity to respond to all incidents will be reduced and we cannot guarantee ‘business as usual’.”

Contingency plans are again being put in place across Burton and South Derbyshire and emergency response crews will be available at strategic locations. More information about the strikes is available online at www.direct.gov.uk/firekills

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