A series of Christmas and New Year strikes have been called by the National Fire Brigades Union (FBU). Strike actionwill take place on Christmas Eve (Tuesday, December 24th), from 7pm until midnight; on New Year’s Eve (Tuesday December 31th) from 6.30pm until 12.30am on New Year’s Day (Wednesday January 1st), and from 6.30am until 8.30am on Friday, January 3rd.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has back up plans in place to cover and still answer 999 calls but these plans will not match the Service's normal day-to-day operation.
Chris Strickland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer at CFRS, said: “This latest industrial action has been called at a time when people will want to be at home with their families and this may impact on our ability to find enough suitable staff to provide an effective operational response.
“We will know in the coming days what effect the timing of the strikes will have on the level of service we can provide to the community in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough and, as with all the previous strikes, we will endeavour to provide the best service we can.
“At Christmas time we are always encouraging people to put fire safety at the forefront of their minds. Now, at this time of industrial action, we will be urging Cambridgeshire residents to take even more care with things like candles around the home, ensuring decorative lights are safe, and of course, taking extra with cooking and smoking especially when drinking alcohol.”
CFRS has a legal duty to provide a service to the community and will be drawing on on-call staff, senior support staff and operational officers from across the Service to crew fire engines.
Householders are being reminded to make preparations to ensure their chances of dialling 999 during a strike are reduced, by following the 'Be Safer... Be Slower... Be Vigilant' routine:
• Take extra care when you are cooking or smoking
• Continue to dial 999 as normal. Be aware that calls could be prioritised
• Smoke alarms - Make sure you've got one and check it works
• Know what to do in the event of a fire - get out, stay out and dial 999
• Share fire safety - Talk to friends and family (visit www.cambsfire.gov.uk for advice)
For further information on the strike and further safety advice, log onto www.cambsfire.gov.uk or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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