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West Midlands Fire Service Industrial Action

West Midlands Fire Service is reassuring the public that it will be working hard to provide the maximum level of protection possible during three strikes by firefighters this week.

The walkouts are planned for:

Friday 2 May 2014, 12noon to 5pm  
Saturday 3 May 2014, 2pm to 2am on Sunday 4 May
Sunday 4 May 2014, 10am to 3pm.

The industrial action is part of a national dispute with the Government over changes to firefighters’ pensions.

Paul Burnham, Area Commander (Response and Resource Management) with WMFS, said: “Clearly, we hope that this national dispute can be resolved as quickly as possible. In the meantime, everyone can play a part in helping to minimise demand on the fewer resources we will have available during the strikes.

“Public safety is central to the detailed contingency plans that will be in place. By using staff who aren’t involved in the action, and by working closely with other agencies, we’re confident that we’ll be able to provide an effective emergency response when required.

“Most house fires are preventable, and the public can make a huge contribution to their own safety. Using basic common sense at home, on the roads and at work can make the difference between needing our help or not.”

During the strike, people in genuine emergency who need the fire service should call 999 as usual.

Tips to stay safe:  

•    make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home
•    check that everyone you live with knows your fire escape plan and escape routes
•    dispose of cigarettes and other smoking materials very carefully – don’t smoke late at night and/or in bed
•    be extra careful in the kitchen – don’t leave food cooking unattended
•    take care on the roads – stick to speed limits, don’t use your mobile phone while driving, don’t drive under the influence of drink or drugs.

A wide range of safety advice is available in the ‘Stay safe’ section of the brigade’s website: www.wmfs.net/content/stay-safe. Regular tips are also issued on Twitter via @WestMidsFire.

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