Wiltshire prepares for festive season firefighter strikes

WILTSHIRE fire chiefs are preparing for three festive season strikes by members of the Fire Brigades Union, including a five-hour walkout tomorrow night.

During the industrial action, which is part of a national dispute between the FBU and the Government over pensions, there will be no cover from full time fire stations at Chippenham, Swindon, Stratton, Westlea, Trowbridge and Salisbury, or from stations in Calne, Melksham, Pewsey and Warminster.

Firefighters at the remaining 14 retained stations should be providing cover as usual and additional fire appliances will operate from Swindon, the Salisbury area, Melksham and Warminster.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “It is particularly disappointing that the Fire Brigades’ Union has chosen Christmas and the New Year period to take further industrial action, as this is supposed to be the season of goodwill.

“Once again, we will make every effort to provide the best possible emergency response for our local communities, but having reduced resources will undoubtedly have an effect.”

He added: “We will still respond to 999 calls during these latest strikes, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive, depending on where the incident is. We also have to look at the number of appliances we send in the first instance. The important thing for us is that local people do everything they can to take extra care.”

Following the action on 24 December, the FBU has said it will strike from 6.30pm to 12.30am on New Year’s Eve and then from 6.30am to 8.30am on January 3.

Visit wiltsfire.gov.uk for safety advice.

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