Christmas Eve strike passed quietly, says fire chief

Wirral Globe: Christmas Eve fire strike passed quietly, says fire chief Christmas Eve fire strike passed quietly, says fire chief

A FIRE service strike on Christmas Eve passed quietly with just three call-outs attended by Merseyside crews, including a false alarm.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in England and Wales walked out for five hours. There are to be further stoppages on New Year's Eve and on January 3.

Chief Fire Officer Dan Stephens said: "The public should be reassured that our staff will maintain a significant emergency response capability during any periods of industrial action.

"We will also continue our community fire safety work – recognising the importance of providing fire safety information at such a time.

"During any industrial action we always ask the public to show extra care and vigilance."

The union has already called six strikes since September in protest at changes to pensions and retirement age, which it warned threatened firefighters in their late 50s with being sacked.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "Firefighters provide a first class standard of service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and these strikes will remind Government just how reliant they are on our members' professionalism, commitment and flexibility."

The next strike is to be for six hours from 6.30pm on New Year's Eve, then for two hours from 6.30am on January 3, which will be the ninth round of industrial action taken by the FBU since the row flared.

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