Firefighters plan second strike

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Fire chiefs have urged people to “endeavour to prevent emergencies” after union members voted to stage a second strike.

Following the result of a Fire Brigades Union (FBU), national ballot, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service (DFRS) has received notification that FBU members will take industrial action on Saturday, October 19.

The fresh walkout has been organised as part of the union’s bitter row with Government over changes to pensions and the retirement age.

Area Manager Bryan Bennett, spokesperson for DFRS, asked communities to provide the first wall of defence, protecting loved ones from the risks of fire.

He said: “As demonstrated during the industrial action which took place in September, Derbyshire Fire & Rescue Service will still be responding to 999 calls albeit at a reduced level. Once again we are asking members of the public to take extra steps to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home and to take extra care when driving on the roads during this time.”

The FBU claims changes to pensions and the retirement age will see thousands of firefighters lose their job “simply for getting older’. It also maintains firefighters pay some of the highest pension contributions in the UK at almost 13 per cent of their salary, with further rises due next year.

Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters simply cannot be expected to fight fires and rescue families in their late 50s and into their 60s. We hope this second strike will mean both governments will be willing to discuss the full range of concerns that firefighters and the general public have expressed.”