Businesses warned ahead of firefighter strike action on Wednesday
NEARLY every full-time firefighter in the county will be on strike on Wednesday, prompting calls for businesses and residents to take extra care.
As part of a national campaign on pension arrangements, the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), of which nearly every Gloucestershire firefighter is a member, has announced industrial action is to be taken.
Around 130 full-time staff, and a smaller number of retained firefighters in the county, are members of the FBU, and all will be striking between noon and 4pm.
Phil Jordan, secretary of the South West branch of the FBU, said: "The Government is refusing to listen to us so we have reached an impasse.
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"Strike action is a last resort and we are hoping it will make the government take note, otherwise there may well be more action."
Businesses are being warned to take extra care during the four hour window.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is urging local firms to ensure their premises are protected from the risks of fire.
GFRS will be providing an emergency response service – and is encouraging businesses to be aware of their responsibilities to staff and customers.
Chief Fire Officer Jon Hall said: "During this short period of industrial unrest we will be providing an effective and professional fire and rescue service in the county.
"However, we are also asking business owners to make sure their properties are as safe as they possibly can be in case there is any small delay in our response – now is the time to make absolutely sure they have thought through their own fire safety policies."
Residents are also being encouraged to take steps to ensure their families are safe at home. More than 50 per cent of fires attended by county firefighters start in the kitchen, so people are asked to take care when cooking.
Councillor Will Windsor-Clive, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure, said: "Local businesses and residents can be assured that the county's fire and rescue service is fully prepared for this short period of industrial action. But the best protection against fire is prevention – and everyone can do their bit to ensure the risks are small."
For more fire safety advice visit glosfire.gov.uk or call 01452 753333.