Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Staff at Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service have cancelled holidays and will give up family time to keep the county safe during the proposed firefighters’ strikes this Christmas.
While members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will walk out over changes to pension conditions, on-call firefighters and senior staff are ready to take tstep in.
Both the chief fire officer Graham Stagg and deputy chief fire officer Chris Strickland will be among the staff providing cover during the industrial action, due to take place on Christmas Eve between 7pm and midnight, New Year’s Eve/Day 6.30pm-12.30am and January 3 6.30am-8.30am.
Mr Strickland told The Hunts Post that while they had previously been concerned about what cover they could provide, the service had an “amazing” response from staff, many of whom have cancelled holidays and family activities.
He said: “It’s impressive that we have not had to cajole anybody and they have voluntarily given up their time.”
Mr Strickland estimated they will be able to provide roughly the same level of service as they have during the previous strikes. Five fire engines will be available – the same level on a normal evening. However, there will only be between 10 and 15 fire engines on call – usually there would be 30.
“We are working hard to try to and make sure that we can provide service that the public needs.”
He added that the service should be capable of attending the average amount of incidents on an evening – between five and seven – but said they would struggle with a major incident.