Fire service says calls will be answered during strike

A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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HAMPSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service has told the public that emergency calls will be answered and responded to during the planned industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union.

It has been announced by the FBU that a four hour strike from midday until 4pm will take place on Wednesday, September 25.

The FBU balloted its members over industrial action after negotiations with the government over pension reforms failed to reach an agreement.

Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service said it would remain in operation as usual but is also calling for the assistance of the public in reducing calls.

Deputy chief officer Dave Curry said: ‘I want to reassure the public that we will be answering emergency calls and responding to them in the same way during the planned periods of industrial action.

‘However, there is inevitably going to be an impact on our response times. ‘

The service is asking the public to only consider calling 999 if there is a genuine need for a fire engine.

A national FBU spokesman said the government is responsible for contingency plans and it was likely retired or former firefighters would step in to work.

He said in extreme cases of emergency, firefighters would come off the strike.