Lancashire fire chief urges people to 'take extra care' in advance of second strike (From Burnley and Pendle Citizen)
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Lancashire fire chief urges people to 'take extra care' in advance of second strike
THE head of Lancashire’s fire service has urged people to be ‘extra vigilant’ to prevent fires ahead of the second round of firefighters strikes this weekend.
Chief Fire Officer Chris Kenny said that although emergency cover would be maintained for the planned October 19 four-hour strike called by the Fire Brigades Union, care should be taken so that longer waits for minor incidents could be minimised.
He said: “We do have a significant number of our staff who have given a commitment to maintain emergency cover and as a result the public can be reassured that the service plan to keep the majority of fire engines in Lancashire operational during the dispute period.
“We would urge all members of the public to take extra care and encourage them to access the website we have set up to offer advice on how to do that at www.takeextracare.com.”
The industrial action, set to take place on October 19 from 6.30pm to 11.30pm, has been called in response to governmental failure to take part in further negotiation talks with FBU heads to resolve a ‘long-running pensions dispute.
Members, including 1,100 firefighters in Lancashire, believe that increasing the retirement age by five years, increasing pension contributions and a lack of less-physical roles could endanger both staff and the public.
Kevin Deacon, chairman for the FBU, said: “We don’t want to strike, because of the extra risk to the public. However we’ve been forced into this as there is still no movement from Westminster regarding additional talks around our pensions.
“This dispute is well above local employers so cabinet members need to get involved to help negotiate a settlement around a table so the whole country can find a resolution.”
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