WIRRAL firefighters were called out to a collision in Birkenhead yesterday as members of the Fire Brigades Union walked-out for nine hours.

Following yesterday's industrial action, a spokesman for the fire service said: "Non-striking firefighters attended a total of 26 incidents during the nine-hour period of industrial action today, July 10.

"The call-outs included two road traffic collisions, one call where firefighters gave first aid to a member of the public who had collapsed, three property fires, two vehicle fires and 13 secondary fires.

“We also continued with 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.”

In Wirral, firefighters were called out to a collision involving two cars on Slatey Road, Birkenhead at about 3pm.

A man and woman, who were out of one of the cars when firefighters arrived, were taken to Arrowe Park Hospital.

Around 95% of Merseyside's 760 firefighters put down their tools between 10am and 7pm on Thursday.

Mark Rowe, brigade secretary for Merseyside, said: "The dispute is about the Government trying to impose a pension scheme on us which will see firefighters working up until their 60th birthday which is totally unworkable.

Wirral Globe: Fire crew's out on strike at Birkenhead.
Birkenhead firefighters on strike earlier this year.

"The Government's own report that they commissioned to look into whether or not fire fighters could work to 60 said nearly 70% of firefighters wouldn't meet the fitness standards set.

"If that's not bad enough, the real threat to us is that if we reach the age of 55 or younger without being able to maintain our fitness - we all age at different rates and pick up knocks and it's a very demanding job - but if we don't maintain our fitness we will be dismissed under capability.

"We won't have a job and we won't have a pension. That's something that we will not stand for.”