Ahead of the latest national fire strike tomorrow morning, here are some key facts:
When is the fire strike?
Friday 3 January 2014 between 6.30am and 8.30am.
Why is the strike happening?
The strike is taking place because of a national dispute between central Government and the Fire Brigades’ Union over proposed changes to firefighters’ pensions.
What fire cover will there be during the FBU strike?
Surrey County Council has a contingency contract with private company Specialist Group International (SGI) to keep our residents safe.
SGI’s crews 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 vehicle accidents. In addition, any non-striking personnel will give emergency cover to increase the number of fire engines available.
How many fire engines and staff will be available compared to normal non-strike cover?
Final figures will be known when the strike begin. During the last strike on 31 December 2013, there were up to eight fire engines compared to around 30 normally. The staff on shift during the strike period comprised SGI, non-striking firefighters and other staff.
Will firefighters be locked out of stations and be unpaid for the whole shift?
Firefighters will be free to access fire stations during strike hours. They will work and be paid as normal for the non-striking part of the shifts.
Will uniformed firefighters be allowed to picket outside their stations during the strike?
Striking firefighters can legitimately picket outside their place of work, but cannot wear uniform when not working.
Is there anything we can do to keep safe?
SGI and our non-striking firefighters will crew as many engines as possible during the strike. However, there will be fewer fire engines than normal, so it’s important residents take extra care.