The Fire Brigades Union has praised fire fighters for their unity and determination during last night's strike. Fire fighters across England and Wales walked out on strike between 6.30pm and 11pm in the dispute about pensions.
FBU General Secretary Matt Wrack said: 'Fire fighters have once again shown their determination to defend their pension rights and to campaign for a pension which reflects the job they do. We hope government will now sit down and negotiate a settlement to this dispute.'
Fire services across the Meridian region say they were not greatly affected by industrial action by fire fighters last night. Although there were fewer fire appliances on call, fire services say they were able to deal with incidents.
Hampshire - 41 fire appliances crewed by retained fire fighters, about half the usual number. Service's 20-minute response time to emergencies was maintained.
Wiltshire - 18 appliances on duty instead of 24. Crews attended just one incident across the county - an overheated plug socket in Swindon.
Berkshire - 10 appliances available instead of average of 15. Four calls received, only one of which required the brigade’s attendance. This was a small fire in a garden in Humber Way, Owlsmoor, which was out on arrival.
Further strikes are scheduled between 6am and 8am on Monday.
Fire brigades across the country have urged people to put off any firework displays in their gardens tonight and to switch it to Saturday, or to go to an organised event as firefighters go on strike in a row over pensions.
London Fire Brigade said today was likely to be one of the busiest days of the year for the fire service, ahead of Guy Fawkes Night and Diwali celebrations and urged people to attend organised displays.
London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson called on people not to put themselves at risk by lighting fireworks and bonfires tonight as only serious emergencies will be attended to by a contingency fire and rescue service during the strike.
The Fire Brigades Union said it has timed the strikes so that celebrations on Bonfire Night and the Saturdays before and after November 5 - the most popular times for firework displays - can take place.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said its emergency response service would be "severely reduced" because of the strike.