999 calls will be answered

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Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will have plans in place to answer 999 calls and respond to emergencies during the four day strike that the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced.

The FBU announced that its members in fire and rescue services across England will be on a continuous nationwide strike from Friday, October 31, at 6pm, to Tuesday, November, 4, at 6pm.

The FBU is in dispute with the government over firefighters’ pension arrangements, it is the latest in a series of strikes over the past 13 months.

Bedfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer, Paul Fuller, said: “Whilst this is a national dispute between the FBU and the Government, the impact will be felt locally and the impact of a 4 day continuous strike should not be underestimated.

“Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service does have well practiced plans to continue to deliver services during the periods of FBU strike action, based on the previous strikes over the past year, and these plans will again be put into place.

“However, as with any period of strike action, this will be a reduced service, compared to normal.

“A 96 hour strike will be even more challenging, particularly if we are busy with 999 calls, but we will be doing all that we can to manage the situation effectively.”

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Glen Ranger said: “We will prioritise any 999 calls we receive, so that we can respond to those with a potential threat to life and we will still have qualified firefighters and officers responding to emergencies.

“However, we will also need the support and help of the public to minimise the risk of fire and other emergencies. With this strike taking place in the build-up to Bonfire Night, we urge the public to use common sense, and minimise the potential for fire to start, in the home as well as outdoors.

“Fire is not the only concern, we also need the public to take extra care whilst driving and reduce the risk of road traffic collisions.”