Warning over limited fire cover during strike - but Cornish emergencies 'will be covered' (From Falmouth Packet)
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Warning over limited fire cover during strike - but Cornish emergencies 'will be covered'
10:37am Wednesday 18th September 2013 in News
Only limited fire cover will be available in Cornwall next Wednesday as a result of planned strike action.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union within Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service are expected to be taking part in four hours of industrial action on September 25 as part of a national protest against changes to public sector pensions.
Cornwall Council has now warned that as the majority of the wholetime firefighters within the service are union members, strike action could result in staff shortages. A council spokesperson said that over the past few weeks the fire service had prepared “robust contingency plans” to maintain minimum levels of cover for dealing with major fires, serious flooding or road traffic collisions.
However, the reduced staffing levels mean that crews will not be able to respond to non emergency situations such as automated fire alarms from businesses or other non essential activities.
Prevention advice and guidance has been prepared for businesses and residents and is available on the council’s website cornwall.gov.uk The spokesperson added: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is working closely with partners such as the police and ambulance services to ensure emergency services are maintained throughout any industrial action.”
Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said: “This is a national dispute between members of the Fire Brigades Union and the Government over proposed changes to pensions and is not directed against Cornwall Council or Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service.
"While the industrial action will inevitably have an impact on fire and rescue services, residents in Cornwall will not be left without emergency cover in life threatening situations.”
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