Firefighters to walk out on New Year’s Eve

Firefighters will walk out for the eighth time on New Year’s Eve as a bitter row over pension changes rumbles on.

Monday, 30th December 2013, 1:01 pm
Firefighters at Wakefield Fire Station take part in an earlier round of strike action in September

Members of the Fire Brigades Union are taking industrial action over plans to introduce a new pension scheme which includes raising the age of retirement for firefighters from 55 to 60.

Members walked out for five hours on Christmas Eve and will again from 6.30pm on New Year’s Eve until 12.30am on New Year’s Day.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) said its contingency plans for Christmas Eve worked well, with 11 incidents attended during the strike period - none of which were major.

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There were 26 fire engines covering the county during the Christmas Eve strike, compared to the usual 54.

A similar number, manned by those not striking as well Community Response Operatives (CRO) who have undergone three weeks’ intensive training will be available on New Year’s Eve.

Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton said: “New Year’s Eve is a time when we can experience an increased level of calls as people indulge in drinking and revelry.

“Whilst we are confident that our contingency plans will once again prove effective, we are mindful that we will be experiencing reduced cover during a risky period.

“Please do your bit to help us by looking after friends and family, staying safe on the roads and reducing fire risks in your home.

“If you do intend on going for a night out drinking, do not use cooking appliances when you return home –get a takeaway instead.”

On average over the last five years, WYFRS has attended 20 call outs between the hours of the strike.

A further strike is planned for between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday, January 3.,