FIREFIGHTERS from Malmesbury, Cricklade and Royal Wootton Bassett were called out to incidents during a weekend of industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union.

A total of 18 were recorded during the three strikes.

They included a fire involving a fork lift truck battery at a warehouse on South Marston Industrial Estate, Swindon was dealt with by a crew from Cricklade and a resilience appliance operating in the Swindon area The Malmesbury crew was sent to the scene of two crashes on the M4 one at junction 17 on Sunday where a car had collided with a signpost and had to be made safe. The other, on Saturday, involved two cars on the westbound carriageway between junction 17 and 18. But no one was trapped. It also went to a false alarm at a house in the town.

Royal Wootton Bassett firefighters went to a home in Gorse Hill, Swindon where cooking fumes had triggered the sire alarms.

Crews at 10 of Wiltshire’s 24 fire stations were unavailable to respond during the strike, but the service had contingency plans in place to maintain cover across the county using on-call firefighters and alternative locations.

Striking crews returned to duty by 4pm on Sunday.

The union is striking over job cuts and changes to pensions. General secretary Matt Wrack said: "It's very disappointing that we've been forced to hold another three days of strikes but nothing will deflect firefighters’ resolve when the future of their families and the fire and rescue service itself is at stake.”