Warning issued over firefighters’ strike action

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BUSINESSES and residents in Northumberland have been urged to take extra precautions as firefighters prepare to strike.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that members will take action on Wednesday, from noon to 4pm, in a dispute over pension reform.

Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service will continue providing services, but has warned that it will not be business as usual.

It is writing to businesses to help them minimise the risk of fire, and residents have also been advised to take extra care.

Chief Fire Officer Alex Bennett said: “We will be urging people to take steps to protect themselves and their loved ones from the risks of fire, including ensuring they have working smoke alarms fitted in their homes.”

Northumberland County Council Deputy Leader Dave Ledger said: “We are obviously disappointed to hear that issues between the FBU and the Government over reform of the firefighters’ pension scheme have not been resolved.

“The council in its role as Northumberland Fire Authority has a duty to ensure it has robust plans in place to provide a fire and rescue response during industrial action and we will be putting these plans into action. We must stress that it will not be business as usual however.”