Just two 999 calls during fire service strike in Cornwall
CORNWALL’S fire service received just two 999 calls during today’s four hour strike – the first triggered by an automated alarm and the second to report it was a false alarm.
Firefighters had pledged to cover any major incidents, while chief fire officer Des Tidbury stressed there had been “robust contingency plans in place to maintain minimum levels of cover”.
Crews across the county walked out of their stations between noon and 4pm as part of a long-running dispute with the Government over pensions reform, which could see firefighters working until the age of 60.
Mr Tidbury said: “I’d like to express our sincerest thanks and gratitude to the people of Cornwall during this challenging time and urge everyone to maintain their vigilance and fire safety awareness for the future.”
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The nationwide walkout marked the first fire service strike in 10 years.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced last week it would be taking industrial action after almost 80 per cent of its members voted in favour of striking.
Matt Wrack, general secretary at the FBU, said: "This initial strike is a warning shot to Government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions. Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues.
"It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families when in their late fifties – the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered. None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety."