South Yorkshire firefighters set to strike

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney
Chief Fire Officer James Courtney
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South Yorkshire firefighters are to walk out on strike tomorrow - in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Crews plan to abandon their stations on three consecutive days over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The national strike, called by the Fire Brigades Union, was called following three years of discussions with the Government over a raft of issues including firefighters being asked to pay more into their

pension pots and fears that firefighters face losing their jobs if they fail fitness tests as they get older.

Firefighters will walk out between noon and 5pm tomorrow; 2pm on Saturday until 2am on Sunday and between 10am and 3pm on Sunday,

South Yorkshire’s Chief Fire Officer, James Courtney said ‘a basic level of firefighting cover during the strike periods’ will be available but warning that its 999 response service will be ‘severely depleted’.

He said the best way for residents to protect themselves is to have working smoke alarms fitted on every level of their homes.

Mr Courtney is also urging people not to cook after drinking alcohol.

He said: “Our emergency response service will be significantly reduced during the strike period, so the best way to stay protected is to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home. If you do

discover a fire don’t attempt to tackle it yourself- get out, stay out and still call 999.

“We’re also mindful that quite a few people will be using the long weekend as a chance to celebrate, but if you do go out drinking, don’t attempt to cook when you get home- buy a takeaway instead.

“Top tips for staying safe during the strike periods include don’t leave cooking unattended – and switch off cooking appliances after use.

“Never use a chip pan and don’t attempt to cook after a night out.

“Test your smoke alarms and don’t take the batteries out to power presents.”

Call 0114 2532314 or visit www.syfire.gov.uk for safety advice and visit pressthebutton.co.uk for smoke alarm test reminders.