West Yorkshire's cover during fire strike ‘effective’

West Yorkshire's cover during fire strike ‘effective’

West Yorkshire's cover during fire strike ‘effective’

First published in Local news Ilkley Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

Fire chiefs hailed their contingency plans as “effective” during Friday night’s four-and-a-half hour strike by firefighters.

A reduced service, manned by non-striking firefighters and volunteers, attended 19 incidents across the county while members of the Fire Brigades Union formed picket lines outside fire stations in a row over pensions.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said the demand on crews had been “broadly as expected” for this time of year and its fleet of 28 fire engines – compared to a usual 54 – provided effective cover between 6.30pm and 11pm.

A further strike was held between 6am and 8am on Monday.

Dave Walton, assistant chief officer, said of Friday’s strike: “The number of appliances in West Yorkshire was approximately half what would normally be available.

“Our contingency plan has meant that we were able to deal with all incidents reported to us in an effective manner. The nature of the type of incidents is similar to what we would ordinarily experience on a night like this.

“Bonfires have not caused us a major problem this evening, so we thank the public for heeding our advice.”

Members of the FBU are striking over proposed Government changes to their pensions which would force firefighters to work until they are 60.

Lee Indricks, divisional secretary of Bradford Fire Brigades Union, said members would be paying more into their pensions, but would lose out if they decided to retire early.

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