Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS) is reassuring the public that emergency calls will be answered and responded to during the planned industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).
It has been announced by the FBU that one four hour strike will take place on Wednesday 25 September 2013, from 12 noon until 4pm.
The FBU balloted its members over industrial action after negotiations with the Government over pension reforms failed to reach an agreement.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will remain in operation as usual throughout the period of action but is also calling for the assistance of the public in reducing the volume of calls during that time.
Deputy Chief Officer Dave Curry said:
“I want to reassure the public that we will be answering emergency calls and responding to them in the same way during the planned periods of industrial action.”
“We are ready and prepared for the industrial action and have a robust business continuity plan in place. We will continue to offer a safe level of cover across the county to handle emergencies.”
“However, there is inevitably going to be an impact on our usual response times. We would urge the public to be vigilant during the planned strike periods to help reduce unnecessary calls and take extra precautions to prevent fires in their own homes and businesses.”
The Service is asking the public to only consider calling 999 if there is a genuine need for a fire engine as it will need to prioritise calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued.”
Hampshire residents are also being encouraged to consider calling other relevant agencies for non-emergency calls, such as someone who is locked outside their house or where debris has fallen in the road.
DCO Curry added:
“There are a number of ways residents can also protect themselves.”
“Ensuring smoke alarms are properly installed and working will give people vital warning of fires in their home and everybody should know and practice their home escape plan.
“We would also urge people to take extra care with using candles, during cooking or with electrical items as well as ensuring that smoking materials are disposed of safely.
“However If you do have a fire, our advice remains to get out of the house, stay out and call 999.”
For more fire safety advice and information on the industrial action visit www.hantsfire.gov.uk