Second firefighters' strike has Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service working on contingency plans (From Wiltshire Times)
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Chippenham and Trowbridge fire stations among those set to be affected
2:25pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Latest News
Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is finalising contingency plans to cope with a further strike by firefighters this weekend.
The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has announced a second strike date of Saturday, October 19, as part of its on-going national dispute with the government over pension reforms.
Between 6.30pm and 11.30pm on that day, firefighters who belong to the FBU and have chosen to strike will not be available to respond to emergency calls.
It is anticipated that this will affect the full-time fire stations at Swindon, Stratton, Westlea, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury, as well as on-call stations at Calne, Warminster, Melksham and Pewsey.
As with the first strike last month, the service has established a range of plans in order to maintain fire cover across the county, and crews will be responding from alternative locations in Swindon, Warminster, Melksham and Salisbury as a result.
The 14 on-call stations unaffected by the strike should also be providing fire cover as usual.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “I am obviously disappointed that this national dispute between the FBU and the government is again affecting Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service and, potentially, the communities we are here to serve.
"We are doing everything we can to maintain the best possible emergency response that we can, given that we will have reduced resources.
“During the industrial action, we will still be responding to 999 calls, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive and, with larger premises, we may send a smaller attendance than usual in the first instance.
"We would therefore urge everyone to take extra care on Saturday evening – our website has some helpful advice on how to keep yourself and your loved ones safe.”
Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service’s ten top tips for staying safe are:
1, Fit smoke detectors on every level of your home;
2, Make an escape plan and practice it with all the family;
3, Take extra care when cooking, particularly with hot oils;
4, Dispose of cigarettes carefully and don’t smoke in bed;
5, Be careful when using candles and tea lights;
6, Make sure matches and lighters are kept away from children;
7, Do your bit to help vulnerable friends, family and neighbours;
8, Reduce the risk of road traffic collisions;
9, Business owners should check their premises are safe from fire;
10, Get out, stay out. Call 999.
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