CONTINGENCY plans are being finalised to deal with more strikes by firefighters this week.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will be walking out for 24 hours on Thursday and again on Saturday for a further seven hours.

Full time stations including Chippenham, Westlea, Swindon and Trowbridge will be affected along with several retained stations.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “By walking out for 24 hours, which will be the longest strike action so far, the FBU is clearly out to cause the maximum disruption.

“As I have said before, the union’s dispute is with the Government, yet the impact of these strikes is entirely on individual fire and rescue services and the communities we are here to protect.”

He added: “As on previous occasions, we will be making every effort to provide the best possible emergency response for people in Wiltshire and Swindon, but we will be operating with reduced resources and this will have an effect.

“During the strike periods, we will still respond 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.”

Thursday's strike starts at 9am and the Saturday walk out begins at 10am. Crews from unaffected stations and retained firefighters will be used to provide cover