General, HP, Surrey County Council, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Key facts ahead of national fire strikes

Ahead of the latest national fire strikes, please find more details below:

When are the fire strikes?
On Friday 2 May 2014 between midday and 5pm, from 2pm on Saturday 3 May to 2am on Sunday 4 May, and from 10am to 3pm on Sunday 4 May.

Why are the strikes happening?

The strikes are 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 strikes?

Non-striking firefighters will give emergency cover to increase the number of fire engines available, and will be backed up by Surrey County Council’s contingency contract with private company Specialist Group International (SGI) to help 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.

How many fire engines and staff will be available compared to normal non-strike cover?

Final figures will be known when the strikes begin. During the last strike on 3 January 2014, there were up to 10 fire engines compared to around 20 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 strikes?

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 strikes. However, there will be fewer fire engines than normal, so it’s important residents take extra care over the Bank Holiday weekend.

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