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Home   Medway   News   Article

Firefighters walk out in latest Fire Brigades Union strike tonight and tomorrow

13 December 2013
by Jenni Horn

Firefighters are due to stage two strikes in just over 24 hours from this evening.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will stage a walk-out between 6pm and 10pm today and 6pm and 10pm tomorrow.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) said it is has put plans in place but is calling on people to spend five minutes making sure their home is safe.

Mark Simmons, Fire Brigade Union Kent secretary, outside Medway Fire Station in Gillingham

Mark Simmons, Fire Brigade Union Kent secretary, outside Medway Fire Station in Gillingham

The list includes checking your smoke alarm works, unplugging any unused electrical items before you go out and not overloading electric sockets.

Avoid leaving electrical items running, such as the washing machine or tumble dryer, while you are away from home and don’t set your oven to come on via a timer when you are out.

People are also advised not to leave any cooking unattended and to avoid using candles.

Sittingbourne fire station during a previous strike

Sittingbourne fire station during a previous strike

KFRS chief executive Ann Millington said: “We will again be answering 999 calls and responding to incidents across the county.

“But we will not be operating at our normal level, so we must again ask people to avoid making non-emergency calls to us during these periods."

The strikes this weekend are the latest in a series of walk-outs staged by the union in a dispute with the government over pensions.

The row centres on the pensions paid to firefighters who retire between the ages of 50 and 60 due to ill-health or not meeting fitness standards.

Unions say firefighters who retire early will be unable to claim their full pensions despite, in some cases, decades of service.


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