Contingency plans are in place and an emergency response service will continue – that’s the message from Northamptonshire County Council’s fire and rescue service ahead of planned strike action.
Last week the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) announced that they intend to take strike action today (Wednesday 25th September) from 12pm to 4pm as a result of an on-going national dispute with the government over pensions.
What is the situation in Northamptonshire?
Locally, approximately 59% of firefighters are FBU members, so Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue has been preparing for potential strike action for several months to ensure the necessary business continuity arrangements are in place to minimise any disruption.
Cabinet member for Public Protection, Strategic Infrastructure and Economic Growth, Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage said: “Contingency plans are in place and we are confident that Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service will maintain an emergency response service to the people and businesses of our county.
“This is a testing time for fire and rescue services across the country and we hope that a resolution will be achieved soon, although we respect the right of staff to take part in industrial action. And please remember that, as always, you should only call 999 in an emergency.”
Chief Fire Officer Martyn Emberson said: "We will have 50% of our appliances available this afternoon and we have taken steps to change our model of delivery during this time.
“This includes re-prioritising the incidents we attend and pausing some of the prevention work we would normally do, to ensure we are focusing our efforts and resources on responding to incidents where emergencies are confirmed.
“We have also re-allocated resources to ensure the main risk areas have cover in place to be able to respond to emergencies.
“To help the public and businesses make their own preparations, we have also stepped up the volume of prevention advice available on both our website and social media sites".
For more information
For fire safety advice people can visit www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/fire or follow the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service social media accounts: Twitter - @northantsfire or Facebook - www.facebook.com/northantsfire