Fire chief issues warning to firms ahead of strike

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney
Chief Fire Officer James Courtney
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Fire service bosses in South Yorkshire have warned business owners that they will only rescue people trapped in lifts when their health is at risk during periods of strike action.

With firefighters preparing to take industrial action between 10am and 7pm on Thursday, followed by eight other periods of strike action over the next two weeks, fire chiefs are urging the business community to help keep 999 calls to a minimum.

Fire chiefs have warned that the emergency response service available during the strike action will be ‘severely reduced’.

Chief Fire Officer James Courtney, said: “During the strike, our emergency response service is going to be severely reduced, so we’ll only be attending incidents that are genuinely life threatening. “Businesses can help us by reducing number of unnecessary false alarms, for example by testing their systems are working properly.

“In the event of a lift becoming stuck, calls to the fire service should only be made if people in the lift are at immediate risk or in such distress as to need medical attention.

“People responsible for premises with lifts must provide details of how to contact the responsible maintenance company, both in the lift and where alarm calls from the lift are received in the building.”

Firefighters are in dispute with the Government over changes to pensions.

They are also worried about the lack of jobs available for aging firefighters no longer deemed fit enough for the frontline.