Kay Hammond Cabinet Associate for Fire and Police Services said “Although this is a dispute between central government and the FBU, our priority is to keep Surrey safe. That’s why nine months ago we contracted SGI to enhance the day-to-day service we offer local people and provide cover when it is needed, such as during strikes, when they will work alongside non striking staff.
“Our job is to keep the people of Surrey safe, and that means all-day cover that residents can count on.
“We want as many firefighters as possible to work their shift on Wednesday, but we need them to commit to working the whole shift to avoid logistical chaos.
“No organisation can plan its day based on part of the workforce suddenly leaving partway through, and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service is no different.
“We are not prepared to compromise on Surrey’s safety.”
Fire stations are open and recreational spaces are available at fire stations to firefighters who chose to strike today. However, these striking firefighters will not go to any other emergency calls.
To minimise disruption to non-striking firefighters, we are working from six contingency sites elsewhere rather than the normal fire stations.
Today the service has available:
– 12 fire engines compared to around 22 normally
– 86 staff on today’s shift compared to a minimum of 104 under non-strike conditions
– 6 contingency fire service bases
– Additional support from