A fire service is reassuring members of the public that it will still be able to answer 999 calls, despite strike threats from firefighters.
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) is sending the message to residents after a national Fire Brigade Union (FBU) ballot, which ended on August 29, indicated that firefighters across the UK would be prepared to strike over changes to their pensions.
The planned changes to firefighters’ Government pensions would see their retirement age rise to 60, a decision which has been branded dangerous by firefighters because they say older crew members could struggle with the physical demands of the job.
Graham Stagg, chief fire officer at CFRS, said: “We very much hope that a strike will not occur and the Government and FBU will be able to negotiate a satisfactory agreement.
“However, if this cannot take place, we would like to reassure members of the public that we will still be able to attend 999 calls, where a person’s life is at risk, including house fires, road traffic collisions and vehicle fires.”
The fire service said the earliest a strike could occur would be today, September 5, but an FBU spokesman said members wanted to continue discussions with the Government to avoid a strike.
The spokesman said: “We are trying to get the Government back to the table to work out something reasonable and fair because no one wants to go down the road of taking industrial action.”
Visit www.cambsfire.gov.uk for more information.