Fire Service reassures public over further strike action
Every 999 call Oxfordshire's Fire and Rescue Service receives during two more planned periods of strike action called by the Fire Brigade's Union will be answered and dealt with, the county's Chief Fire Officer has said.
(Media-Newswire.com) - Every 999 call Oxfordshire's Fire and Rescue Service receives during two more planned periods of strike action called by the Fire Brigade's Union will be answered and dealt with, the county's Chief Fire Officer has said.
Union members all over the country are set to walk out again over a nationwide dispute about pay and pension reforms from 6.30pm to 11pm on Friday 1 November and from 6am to 8am on Monday 4 November.
The Friday strike is at a time when a number of firework displays will be taking place in Oxfordshire - the vast majority are taking place on Saturday evening, a time when FBU strike action has not been called. People have been advised as normal to get safety messages from the Firework Code.
Practical safety steps
Oxfordshire County Council's Fire and Rescue Service will use a mixture of non-striking full-time firefighters and on-call personnel to cover the latest planned strikes, a similar approach to arrangements that were in place for the four-hour period of industrial action on Wednesday 25 September and the five-hour walk-out for Saturday 19 October, which was averted at the last minute following talks.
Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge has highlighted a number of practical steps people can take to help him keep the county as safe as possible during the time FBU members plan to be on strike.
Prevention and education
Safety messages and advice can be found online via 365alive, an Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service initiative which aims to promote a safer community through safety education and preventative work.
Mr Etheridge said: "I would like to reassure the public that during the latest planned strike periods their Fire and Rescue Service will continue to answer and deal with every 999 call it receives.
"I do though want to press home the simple things people can undertake to help me keep Oxfordshire as safe as possible during the industrial action.
"Ensuring that your smoke alarm works; checking that your electrical sockets are not overloaded; making sure your vehicles are road-safe by checking tyre pressures to help guard against a potentially accident-causing blow-out - these are all easy but significant preventative tasks that people can do to help ensure safety.
"All this prevention and educational advice and more is available on our 365alive website, and I would encourage residents to visit the page and digest what it says so they are as prepared as is possible." Follow the Firework Code
Mr Etheridge added: "Friday evening is when firework displays will be taking place in Oxfordshire and is also a time when the FBU have called strike action.
"We will be able to provide a response to any call-outs on Friday evening if required, so I do not see any reason why the fireworks displays organised for then should not take place. People should follow the Firework Code so they are knowledgeable about potential dangers.
"Bonfire celebrations in Oxfordshire have a record of being well-organised and such events have marshals and competent people in charge who rightly have safety at the forefront of their minds."
Plans in place
Councillor Rodney Rose, Oxfordshire County Council's Deputy Leader, said: "It's again frustrating that these periods of strike action have been called by the FBU as we thought progress had been made when they cancelled their last planned period of industrial action.
"We do however in Oxfordshire have firm plans in place to deal with fire service 999 calls that may arise."
Fire Service control room staff will not be affected by the industrial action and will continue as normal.
This story was released on 2013-10-31. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date. See our disclaimer for additional information.