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Normal service resumes as firefighters' strike ends

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The strike period is now over - here’s more information on the incidents attended by MAWWFRS http://t.co/JWZaAtuzKP #takeextracare

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South Wales Fire and Rescue Service back to normal service following firefighters strike #takeextracare http://t.co/9ukyvxxwcC

Firefighters stage fresh walkout in pensions dispute

Firefighters across Wales are currently staging a fresh strike in an ongoing dispute with the Government over plans to raise the retirement age.

Cardiff Central is just one of many fire stations across the UK taking part in industrial action Credit: Tom Sheldrick / ITV News

Members of the Fire Brigades Union walked out at 10am - the fourth time industrial action has been taken in recent weeks.

The latest strike - which ministers say is 'completely unnecessary' - is expected to last until 2pm.

The union fears firefighters will lose their jobs if they fail fitness tests as part of changes to the pension age from 55 to 60 Credit: Tom Sheldrick / ITV News

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'Contingency force' in place during fire strike

The planned fire strike by Welsh fire crews is due to run from 10am until 2pm today.

South Wales fire service is quite unique in its high level of union membership, meaning virtually all staff there will be taking industrial action.

South Wales is in a particular position where over 97% of our operational staff are in the Fire Brigades Union - that's over 1,700 people, all of those staff we expect to take industrial action today. So that means all of our 50 fire stations - there will be no fire appliances available from any of those. That's why we have to build a contingency force, which is the army, auxiliary reserve and support from neighbours.

– Rod Hammerton, Assistant Chief Fire Officer for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service

Fire crews urge extra caution ahead of planned strike

Wales' fire services are urging members of the public to 'take extra care' ahead of a planned strike tomorrow in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

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Reduce your chance of having to dial 999 during the firefighter strike 10am – 2pm tomorrow #take extra care... http://t.co/gaxecjRf9c

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#takeextracare during periods of Industrial Action. 10am – 2pm Wednesday 13 November 2013 #SWControl

Firefighters to strike for fourth time in pension dispute

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Firefighters are in a dispute with the Government over pensions Credit: PA

Fire crews across Wales will strike for the fourth time tomorrow in an ongoing dispute over pensions.

Firefighters who are forced to retire before 60 as a result of declining fitness could now receive pensions of just over £9,000 a year as a result of the latest government proposals.

The government has, until recently, claimed that firefighters who work for 40 years would receive £19,000 a year.

Fire Brigades Union general secretary Matt Wrack said: "After 35 years of service - and paying at least £4,000 a year - firefighters could now receive just over £9,000 a year, or the sack, simply because fitness declines as they get older.

"Firefighters simply want an affordable and workable pension that reflects the job we do. But with employee costs going up, firefighters are being priced out making the scheme threatening its sustainability.

"We're keen to resolve this through negotiations, but the government is simply ignoring all the evidence we have submitted."

The strike will take place between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday. Firefighters are also voting in a ballot over additional forms of industrial action.

Welsh fire services back to normal

Fire services in Wales have returned to normal service following a two hour strike earlier this morning over proposed changes to pensions.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith reported that North Wales Fire and Rescue Service had managed its services effectively during the strike action.

“There was obviously a reduction in the resources that we had at our disposal, our business continuity plans were put into operation effectively and as soon as the strike period came to an end we were able to ensure a quick and safe return to normal services.

“I would again take this opportunity to thank the public for their cooperation and for heeding our safety messages - our attendance was not required at any incidents during the two hour period.

Although this strike is over, it is as yet unclear whether there will be further industrial action by firefighters so I would remind people that attention to fire safety and road safety remains of paramount importance."

– Chief Fire Officer Simon Smith

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Firefighters stage second walkout

Members of the FBU are striking over changes to pensions Credit: PA Images

Firefighters across England and Wales have just begun a two hour walkout over proposed reforms to pay and pensions.

The strike will go on until 0800 GMT and specialised auxiliary fire fighters will be drafted in to cover the protesters duties.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union staged a four and a half hour walkout on Friday.

Fire services said they coped well during the strike action.

The dispute, between the Fire Brigades Union and the UK Government, is about changes to pension ages.

Second round of strikes see firefighters walk out before bonfire night

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Fire departments staged the first round of strikes last Friday evening Credit: PA

The Fire Brigade Union are walking out for the second time in a week due to rows over pensions. The government wants firefighters to work until they are 60.

Fire departments across Wales have issued safety warnings in light of bonfire night and are asking people to be careful with fireworks.

Trained auxiliary firefighters will step in to cover duty during the industrial action. The FBU will picket from 06:00 and 08:00 this morning.

Welsh fire services back to normal service

Firefighters will stage another walkout on 4th November Credit: PA

Fire services across Wales have returned to normal service today following a four and a half hour strike yesterday over proposed changes to pensions.

Specialised auxiliary fire fighters covered the protesters duties and the South Wales Fire Department issued warnings, asking people to take extra care at home during the strike.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Rod Hammerton said he was pleased with how South Wales Fire and Rescue Service had managed its services during the strike action:

“As expected, the number of firefighters who chose to strike was high, which resulted in a large reduction in resources. As such, we were unable to provide the same high level of response to incidents as we normally would so we prioritised our response to those in most critical need."

The message from North Wales Fire and Rescue was of similar note. Firefighters attended a road traffic collision shortly before the strike and Chief Fire Office Simon Smith commended them for dealing with the incident into the strike period. He added:

“The number of calls received and incidents attended was lighter than we would normally expect on a Friday evening and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their cooperation and for heeding our safety messages."

Mid and West Fire Service say it operated at around 85% availability during the strike and attended a number of incidents including a crash on the M4 near Baglan.

There will be a further period of strike action by the Fire Bridges Union on Monday between 6am and 8am.

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