Fire service receives almost 200 emergency calls during strike action

PUBLISHED: 12:28 07 November 2014 | UPDATED: 12:28 07 November 2014

Emergency fire crews received 197 calls during the strike.

Emergency fire crews received 197 calls during the strike.

Archant

Crews filling in for striking firefighters received 197 emergency calls during the four-day walk out in the lead up to bonfire night.

They attended 57 incidents including road accidents and house fires while full-time firefighters went on strike over the pensions row.

Herts Fire and Rescue Service chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “I’d like to thank our contingency crews for their excellent commitment. Many were away from their families for the full 96 hours with only limited rest periods and I’m grateful for their dedication to keeping the people of Hertfordshire safe.”

Under the Fire Brigades Union, the strike action started at 6pm on October 31 and finished on November 4.

The row over pensions has rumbled on for months now as the union says frontline firefighters are facing the prospect of a pension that ignores the physical demands of the job they do.

Under government proposals firefighters will have to work until they are 60 instead of 55, pay more into their pensions and get less in retirement.

Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “The public do not want 60 year olds tackling fires. Everyone understands the stupidity of these plans - except government ministers.”

Other incidents during the strike period included rescuing people trapped in lifts and helping vulnerable resident who had been locked out of their homes.

The contingency crews were made up of fully trained, non-striking, Hertfordshire firefighters and, during the strike period, there were seven full time fire engines supported by around four retained fire engines on hand.

The service says there were no major incidents in the Welwyn, Hatfield and Potters Bar areas during the industrial action.


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