Lancaster district firefighters strike in pensions row

Lancaster Fire Station
Lancaster Fire Station

Firefighters from Lancaster and Morecambe join fire crews across the country in a four hour strike today, Wednesday.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced a national strike of their members from 12 noon to 4pm, after negotiations with the government over pensions failed.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union 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.

“Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues.

“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.”

Chris Kenny, Chief Fire Officer Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “We do have a significant number of our staff who have given a commitment to maintain emergency cover and as a result the public can be reassured that the Service plan to keep the majority of fire engines in Lancashire operational during the dispute period.

“We would urge all members of the public to be extra vigilant however and be aware that for minor fires in particular, there may be a longer wait for a fire engine.

“I ask the public to take extra care to prevent a fire happening and encourage them to access the website we have set up to offer advice on how to do that at www.takeextracare.com.

“The focus for the Service in the short term will be on providing the best service possible with the resources available. In the longer term the challenge will be in bringing our workforce together after the dispute to re-establish the most professional service possible.

“Even at this late stage I sincerely hope that government and FBU will soon arrive at a negotiated settlement and we have written to the Government to urge progress.”