North Wales Fire and Rescue Service back to normal service following firefighters strikePosted 25/09/2013 14:10:36
The scheduled four hour period of industrial action by firefighters in England and Wales came to an end at 4pm today (25th September).
The strike, planned by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) as a protest against Government plans for pensions, was announced last week.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith said he was pleased with how North Wales Fire and Rescue Service had managed its services during the strike action.
"As expected, the number of firefighters from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service who chose to strike was high, which resulted in a notable reduction in the resources that we had at our disposal.
"We were unable to provide the same high level of response to incidents as we normally would and as a consequence prioritised our response to those in most critical need.
"The arrangements we put in place to provide a service during strike action worked well. Our robust and well rehearsed business continuity arrangements were put into operation effectively and as soon as the strike period came to an end we were able to ensure a quick and safe return to normal services.
"The number of calls received and incidents attended was no different to that which we would normally expect on a weekday afternoon. I am pleased to report that we maintained fire cover in all the main areas of population in North Wales, with appliances strategically placed such that we were confident throughout of being able to respond to incidents across the region.
"We had one incident of deliberate fire setting which is disappointing given that this meant our resources were stretched unnecessarily.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their cooperation and also to note the professionalism of our operational staff - understandably emotions can run high at times such as these but I am pleased to say that their behaviour has been measured throughout. Locally we will continue to work to maintain strong industrial relations and constructive dialogue with representatives of the union. Our hope is that between the FBU and Government this dispute can be quickly brought to a safe and acceptable conclusion for all parties.
"Although the strike is over, it is as yet unclear whether there will be further industrial action by firefighters, so I would remind people that attention to fire safety and road safety remains of paramount importance and continue to urge everyone to take simple steps to ensure their own safety;
Prevention is best - pay extra attention to fire safety in the home.
- Ensure you have a working smoke alarm - call us on 0800 169 1234 to arrange a free home fire safety check or contact us via www.freesmokealarm.co.uk
- If a fire does start - get out, stay out and call 999
- Don't ever be tempted to tackle a fire yourself."
Advice on how to keep safe in the home is available on www.nwales-fireservice.org.uk
List of incidents mobilised to during strike period;
1 road traffic collision, with no persons trapped, attended by one fire appliance
- 1 house fire attended by two fire appliances
1 fire involving tyres at a derelict barn, which was started deliberately, attended by one fire appliance
List of other calls received;
- 1 notification of controlled burning
1 notification of an alarm test
2 reports of faulty smoke detectors
1 automatic fire alarm, confirmed no fire.