RELIEF was voiced by Warwickshire Fire Service yesterday that there had been no major incidents during the four-hour strike by firefighters.
The firefighters walked out at noon yesterday and stayed on strike until 4pm as part of a national dispute between the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) and the government over changes to pension arrangements and the retirement age.
After the walkout Gary Phillips, deputy chief fire officer of Warwickshire, said: “We have now come to the end of today’s industrial action in the national dispute between the government and the Fire Brigades’ Union.
“This was a short four hour strike and we have been fortunate today that we have attended only a small number of incidents with no loss of life or significant damage to premises.
“I would stress that if there had been a major incident then that would have caused us serious concern. We had a reduced number of fire engines, no specialist equipment and, with fewer staff, this would have led to delayed response times as we did not have normal cover during strike period.”
Mr Phillips said he put the success down to two critical factors:
“We recognise that our 999 responses today were only possible because of our staff,” said Mr Phillips. “I would also like to thank the public for taking extra care and heeding safety precaution warnings during the strike action.
He added: “We are now awaiting further news from the national Fire
Brigades’ Union on the next steps in terms of their dispute with the government.
“My view, and one that I think most of us share, is that I hope there can be a swift resolution to the negotiations so that protracted industrial action does not become necessary.”
The FBU has described yesterday’s action as “a shot across the bows” of the government in its argument with ministers about pensions and retirement issues.
Marcus Giles, secretary of the Warwickshire branch of the FBU, told the Herald: “We still want to have a negotiated settlement. The doors are still open to talk to the government. This was a warning shot to say ‘let’s talk’.”
There are 400 firefighters, retained firefighters and fire officers in Warwickshire. Not all of these were on duty yesterday and non-FBU members were not involved in the strike.
Stratford Fire Station celebrates its 60th birthday today, having opened at is present location in Masons Road in 1953.
The station, which cost £16,000, was opened on 26th September by the Mayor of Stratford, Cllr M G M Phillips following the move from its original location in Scholars Lane.
When it was being built a local stonemason carved a firefighter into the brickwork at the front and it remains a unique feature of the station.
Warwickshire’s deputy chief fire officer Gary Phillips said: “Stratford Fire Station has been at the hub of the community for 60 years and rightly holds a place in local people’s hearts.
“Now is also a good time, though, to think of all the firefighters and personnel who have been based there over the years. Their work in keeping Warwickshire’s communities safe is why people will mark this anniversary with so much affection.”
He has even chosen to set up his office well away from any kind of police building—for the time being in a county-...
Now that a scheme to develop up to 800 homes on the site has been given official government backing, the proposals are e...
STRATFORD-on-Avon District is an attractive place to live and its population has grown rapidly over recent decades. &nb...