Firefighters go on strike

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Firefighters will be walking out on one of the busiest nights of the year.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is urging the public to stay safe and not organise private bonfire celebrations tonight, when Calderdale fire crews will be on strike for four-and-a-half hours between 6.30pm and 11pm.

While the fire service has robust contingency plans in place, fire chiefs are asking the public to play their part in keeping everyone safe by postponing family-run garden bonfires and firework celebrations until after the strike action.

Ian Bitcon, fire safety area manager, said: “As bonfire night falls on a Tuesday this year people may be tempted to start their celebrations tonight. Private bonfires can quickly get out of control and fireworks, if handled incorrectly, can present a major danger.

“Due to strike action we will have a reduced professional service, with about half of our normal fire engine capacity in operation. With this in mind we are asking the public to help keep everyone safe by saving their festivities until normal service is resumed.

“We would always recommend that you attend an organised event rather than celebrating at home or at a friend’s house.”

A further walkout is planned for two hours on Monday between 6am and 8am.

The decision for strike action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) relates to an on-going trade dispute between the union and the Government over proposals to introduce a new pension scheme for firefighters to replace the two current pension schemes of which most operational personnel are members.

A resolution can only be achieved at a national level as the dispute is not between West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority and its staff.

The fire service is asking people to play their part in preventing fires and other emergency incidents taking place by taking extra care and following common sense fire safety advice. Visit www.takeextracare.co.uk

The ‘Gone with a Flash’ campaign has been running again this year, which gives the stark picture of how fireworks and bonfires can destroy lives if not used responsibly.

Elland Round Table’s 43rd firework display at Hullen Edge Park, Elland, will take place tomorrow (Saturday) from 5.30pm with the children’s firework display at 6pm. The bonfire will be lit at 6.15pm before the main display at 7pm. And Lightcliffe Scouts’ annual bonfire and fireworks displau off Wakefield Road, Lightcliffe, will start from 5.30pm with the bonfire starting at 6.30pm and main display at 7.30pm.

Brighouse Juniors will be holding their event from 4pm on Sunday. The bonfire will be lit at 5.30pm and mini display at 6pm with the main display at 6.30pm.

The Casa Hotel in Elland Road, Brighouse, will have their event from 7pm on Tuesday; and Brighouse Rangers will be holding its event at Brighouse Sports and Social Club from 6pm. The bonfire will be lit by 6.30pm and fireworks at 7.30pm.

The Moorlands Inn, Ogden, will be holding its event on the same night from 9pm.

On November 10, Clifton Rangers will hold its event from 6pm at its playing fields off Towngate, Clifton, The firework display will be at 7.30pm.