Live updates

No fire call outs during strike in Berkshire

Firefighters in Berkshire only received one call during its two houre strike this lunchtime.

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service joined fire services in industrial action over pensions between midday and 2pm today. During that time, the service received one call regarding a domestic automated fire alarm, but firefighters didn't need to attend.

The next strike period runs from 10.59 pm until 11.59 pm tonight and this pattern will continue every day up to and including 16 August.

More firefighter strikes today across the south

Firefighters will take further industrial action this week Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Firefighters across the south will launch a fresh wave of strikes today in a bitter row with the Government over pensions, with no sign of a breakthrough in the long running dispute.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out for two hours at noon and again for an hour at 11pm. Strikes will be held for the same times over the next eight days.

Fire brigades will again put contingency plans in place, including using contract staff. Fewer fire engines will be available during the action.

The union has been campaigning for the past few years against controversial Government plans to change pensions. The FBU claims firefighters will have to work longer and receive lower pensions when they retire. The union accused the Government of "walking away" from talks earlier this week.

Advertisement

Fire service on the look-out for more retained firefighters

The Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service is holding information sessions for anyone interested in becoming a retained firefighter.Sessions are being held at Ryde Fire Station on Saturday 22 March at 10.30am and on Tuesday 25 March from 6.30pm.

The service is looking for committed individuals who want to work as part of a dedicated and friendly team providing an important service to the local community. You must be over 18 years of age, be physically fit and possess good communication skills.

Your current employer must sign a consent form allowing you to leave your workplace at any time for operational reasons, and you need to live close to your local fire station.Although no formal qualifications are required, a good standard of literacy and numeracy will need to be demonstrated.

Advertisement

Sussex firefighters tackle flames despite strike

Crews at a home with smoke issuing from the roof Credit: Eddie Howland

Firefighters in Sussex turned out to reports of fire in Haywards Heath last night despite the strike over pensions.

Appliances were called to a kitchen fire in Roundwood Lane and then immediately went to distinguish a roof fire in Haywards Heath.

Firefighters tackle flames inside a Sussex building Credit: Eddie Howland
West Sussex firefighters at the scene of a fire Credit: Eddie Howland
The firefighters fought flames in Haywards Heath to save people's homes from fire destruction Credit: Eddie Howland

Firefighters' strike on New Year's Eve

Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service is again reminding people to ‘take extra care’ when firefighters go out on strike on New Year’s Eve.

The dispute between the Fire Brigades’ Union and the Government is over pension reforms, firefighters will be walking out for six hours from 6.30pm on 31 December.

A further strike has been called for two hours from 6.30am on the morning of 3 January.

New Year’s Eve is a time when people want to celebrate, so we would urge everyone to have a good time but to also take extra care when they’re out and about. Because of the strike, we will have reduced resources available but we are ensuring that we maintain cover to the best of our ability. People should still call 999 if they have an emergency – we will attend, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive.”

– Simon Routh-Jones, Chief Fire Officer

Thatched property badly damaged during fire strike

Firefighters have been striking in an ongoing dispute over pensions Credit: Press Association Images

A thatched property in Wiltshire was badly damaged last night during the firefighters' strike. Eight Wiltshire fire crews attended the blaze at Fyfield, near Pewsey at 5.45pm yesterday. But a very strong wind caused the flames to spread rapidly throughout the roof and first floor.

Area Manager Julian Parsons said: 'The industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union had an impact on where the supporting appliances came from.

'But the initial attendance was close to what we would normally expect, with the crew from Marlborough being on scene within 14 minutes of the 999 call being received – our response target for such a remote location is 20 minutes.'

Strike ends across South

Firefighters from Hampshire and Berkshire have finished their two-hour morning strikes at 8am this morning.

Royal Berkshire Fire Service received four calls during the Fire Brigades Union between 6am and 8am and none of these required the attendance of a fire engine.

Andy Mancey, Berkshire Acting Assistant Chief Fire Officer, said: “Once again, we would like to thank members of the public in helping us by not calling us unnecessarily. There were nine appliances available this morning in the event that any incidents occurred.”

Hampshire Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe said: "We dealt with relatively few incidents during the strike periods and we would like to thank all members of our communities for taking extra care during the recent industrial action."

Load more updates