Cornwall is “lucky” there were no serious incidents during firefighters’ strike, says deputy chief fire officer
Cornwall is “lucky” there no major incidents during yesterday’s firefighters’ strike, says the deputy chief fire officer for the county.
Between 6.30pm and 11pm yesterday evening, firefighters in Cornwall took part in a national strike due to an ongoing row over pension reforms.
Paul Walker, deputy chief fire officer from Cornwall, said there were no major incidents in the county during this time and adequate cover was in place.
“The contingency plans were affected in providing operational cover on reduced resources,” he said.
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“It was lucky we had low levels of operational incidents. We only attended three low level incidents during the strike.”
Mr Walker said the fire service was thankful for people adhering to the safety advice given before the strike, which took place on the Friday closest to bonfire night.
“Our thanks goes to the people of Cornwall for listening to the road safety fireworks safety messages given,” he said.
Members of FBU are planning to strike again on Monday morning between 6am and 8am.
“I would people to be extremely careful during this time,” Mr Walker said.
“Listen to the advice put up on the Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service Facebook page, our website and the advice given by us in the media.”
The dispute centres around a government desire to raise the retirement age for firefighters to 60.
Tim Edwards, chairman of the FBU in Cornwall, said: “We don’t agree it’s reasonable for frontline firefighters to be manning appliances at 60 year of age.
“You are putting the public and firefighters themselves at risk because of the demands of the job.
Brandon Lewis MP, the minister responsible for the fire service, said the decision by the FBU to carry out strikes at this time of year was “deeply saddening”.
In an open letter to Matt Wrack, the FBU general secretary, he said: “...you have called strike action at the start of Diwali and the Bonfire season. This is unworthy of a major emergency service union.”