Chief Fire Officer “confident” of effective cover during strike

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority say they are “confident” of providing effective cover during next week’s strike by firefighters.

Members of the Fire Bridages Union (FBU) will strike between noon and 4pm next Wednesday, September 25, in a row over pensions.

The Chief Fire Officer for West Yorkshire, Simon Pilling said: “People will need to be extra vigilant and careful with regard to the occurrence of fires and other emergencies, the majority of which are preventable, as the Fire and Rescue Service will not be able to provide its normal emergency response capability or capacity during periods of strike action.”

The FBU is opposed to government plans to pay firefighters their full pensions when they reach 60-years-old.

It has argued that those who retire earlier could lose about 50 per cent of their pensions.

Matt Wrack, FBU General Secretary, said: “This initial strike is a warning shot to government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions.

“It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s: the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.

“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”