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Normal service resumes in the Cotswolds after fire strike
FIREFIGHTERS and residents have been praised for their professionalism and diligence during today’s four-hour national fire strike.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) maintained a slightly reduced operation during the industrial action, which was held across the country from 12pm to 4pm yesterday as part of a national campaign on pension arrangements.
Contingency plans put in place by the service meant that significant resources were available, with 26 fire engines ready to respond to emergencies.
Normally the county has 33 engines at its disposal.
However, these contingency resources were largely not called upon, with only a handful of emergency calls to the control room in the four-hour strike period.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: “I’m pleased that the firefighters who were on duty today displayed great flexibility and professionalism to ensure that an effective service was provided for the people of Gloucestershire.
“Those members of the public and local businesses that prepared themselves for this strike by considering their own safety at home and work also deserve all the praise they can get.
“This was a dispute between the Government and the Fire Brigades Union and therefore out of our hands as a service, but I’m pleased that so many people in the county did their bit to remain safe during this short period of industrial action.”
Gary Phillips, Deputy Chief Fire Officer of Warwickshire Fire Service said: “This was a short four hour strike and we have been fortunate that we have attended only a small number of incidents with no loss of life or significant damage to premises.
I would stress that if there had been a major incident then that would have caused us serious concern. We had a reduced number of fire engines, no specialist equipment and, with fewer staff, this would have led to delayed response times as we did not have normal cover during strike period.
“I would also like to thank the public for taking extra care and heeding safety precaution warnings during the strike action.
“We are now awaiting further news from the national Fire Brigades Union on the next steps in terms of their dispute with the Government.
" My view, and one that I think most of us share, is that I hope there can be a swift resolution to the negotiations so that protracted industrial action does not become necessary.”
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