General, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Specialist teams ready to cover during fire strikes

Specialist Group International prepare to cover industrial action

Surrey County Council’s contract with a specialist rescue firm means the county is ready to deal with any industrial action launched by the Fire Brigades Union.

During any strike action world renowned Specialist Group International (SGI) will work alongside frontline firefighters who choose not to strike and on-call firefighters to crew Surrey’s state of the art fire engines.

The Dorking-based firm will provide crews who have all completed the full 17 week firefighters training course which includes fighting a range of fires, wearing breathing apparatus and using specialist equipment to deal with car accidents.

Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Associate for Fire and Police services Kay Hammond said: “We’ve planned long and hard for times like these and we’ve invested in Surrey’s safety through our deal with Specialist Group International. That investment is now proving its worth.

 “We’re ready to provide cover during this dispute between the FBU and Government but we will also be looking to residents and businesses to take extra care during this time.”

Peter Faulding Specialist Group International’s Chief Executive said “The SGI team are ready to stand in and protect the residents of Surrey during this industrial action”.  

Although SGI and a number of Surrey firefighters will be working around the clock there will be fewer fire crews available than normal. Therefore the service is asking residents and businesses to take extra care during any industrial action and to check smoke detectors and emergency equipment.

As well as providing cover during industrial action SGI are also providing specialist rescue to Surrey and are on standby throughout the year to support the fire service with an arsenal of cutting edge equipment and a wealth of expertise including:

* A helicopter to provide vital intelligence during major incidents
* A specialist dive team – the UK’s first
* A fleet of inflatable boats for use in water rescues and during floods
* Hi Tech side scan sonar and camera equipment for locating missing persons
* A fleet of 4×4 vehicles for remote area search and rescue
* World leading expertise in confined space and collapsed structure rescue
* Specialist rope rescue team for cliff, mast and tower crane rescue.


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