As the Fire Brigades Union confirm that firefighters in Cornwall will join a national strike this month, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service is asking the public to be extra vigilant, especially during the hours of darkness.
A 24 hour period of strike action will take place this week, from Thursday, June 12 from 9am, with another due to take place from 10am to 5pm on Saturday, June 21.
CFRS Chief Fire Officer Des Tidbury said: “This is a longer period of strike action than has been the case previously. Our contingency plans were tested during the last periods of strike action and we are currently updating the details of those plans to ensure that once again we remain focused on public and firefighter safety; providing the best service to the people of Cornwall within the limitations of the resources available to us and ensuring a quick return to normalisation.”
In addition to the strike action, the FBU have also announced "action short of strike action". From 9am on June 13 until 10am on June 21 participating fire service personnel will refuse to undertake voluntary overtime, non-contractual overtime or voluntary additional hours.
CFRS is asking people to act on key critical safety messages
• In the event of fire, you should get out, stay out and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.
• Make sure you have smoke alarms on at least every level of your home
• Smoke alarms save lives, but only if they’re working. Test them regularly
• Stub cigarettes out properly and dispose of them carefully
• Plan your escape route and make sure everyone knows how to get out in a fire
• Take extra care in the kitchen and never leave cooking unattended
• Do not overload electrical sockets. Watch out for faulty and over-heating electrical equipment, and wiring/cables
• Drinking alcohol? Plan how to get home safely without driving.
Prevention advice and guidance for businesses and residents is available online at cornwall.gov.uk/fire.
Des added: “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 strike action will inevitably have an impact on fire and rescue services, I want to reassure you that residents in Cornwall will not be left without emergency cover in life threatening situations.”