West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service has issued a safety warning ahead of tomorrow’s (Saturday) seven-hour firefighters strike.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is taking industrial action between 10am and 5pm and the public is asked to take extra care during this period of reduced cover.
This will be the fourteenth strike period in an ongoing dispute between the FBU and the Government over pension reform.
The brigade will have approximately half the normal fleet of 54 fire engines available.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “Saturday is looking set to be a fairly reasonable day weather-wise so we expect people may be out and about enjoying the sunshine.
“If you are planning a barbecue please bear our safety tips in mind. Likewise, those who plan to spend the day gearing up for the World Cup game, which kicks off as strike ends, do remember that excess alcohol consumption can heighten the risk of fire in the home.
“Our contingency crews will be responding to incidents but we will have a reduced resource available.
“Prevention is always better than cure, so please do your bit to stay safe so you don’t need to call on our limited resources during strike.”
Fire cover will be provided by those not striking as well as over 40 Community Response Operatives (CROs), who have been specifically recruited to provide strike cover and have been given three weeks basic training.
The service is also currently training more CROs.
The decision for strike action relates to an on-going trade dispute between the FBU and the Government over its public sector pension reform programme. In particular, the plan to introduce a new Firefighters’ Pension Scheme from April 2015 to replace the two current pension schemes that most operational personnel are members of.