Warning issued ahead of firefighters’ strike

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News from the fire service...
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Fire chiefs are warning South Yorkshire residents that it will take longer to respond to emergencies on Wednesday when firefighters go on strike.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union have voted to walkout for 24 hours from 7am on Wednesday in an ongoing dispute with the government over pensions.

It will be the 66th time FBU members nationally have been on strike since the bitter row broke out two years ago.

The FBU objects to plans to make firefighters work longer and pay more into their pensions to get less in retirement.

Despite negotiations between both sides they have been unable to resolve their differences.

Fire chiefs have recruited contingency firefighters to provide emergency cover across South Yorkshire but there will be fewer engines on the roads than normal, leading to a delay in response times.

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney said: “In a genuine emergency, we will get there, but it will take us longer than normal.

“With that in mind, now is the ideal time to test your smoke alarms and make sure you have an escape plan for getting out of your house quickly and safely in the event of a fire.

“Top tips for staying safe during the strike include never using a chip pan and never leaving cooking unattended.

“Test your smoke alarms and make sure you have one fitted on every level of your home.

“Make sure everyone in your house knows how to get out safely in the event of a fire.”

In July last year, Mr Courtney admitted he ‘breathes a sigh of relief’ at the end of every period of strike action when nobody is hurt.