General, HP, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Key facts ahead of national fire strikes

Ahead of this week’s and next week’s national fire strikes, please find more details below:

When are the fire strikes?

Daily from Saturday 9 August 2014 until Saturday 16 August 2014 inclusive, from 12pm-2pm and from 10.59pm-11.59pm.

Why are the strikes happening?

The Fire Brigades’ Union strikes are part of an ongoing national dispute between themselves and central Government over proposed changes to firefighters’ pensions.

What fire cover will be provided?

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.

Specialist Group International’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 not be known until the strikes begin. During the last strikes from 14-21 July 2014, there were up to 12 fire engines compared to around 20 normally. The staff on shift during these strikes period comprised SGI, non-striking firefighters and other staff.

Will firefighters be locked out of stations and be unpaid for whole shifts?

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?

Specialist Group International 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.

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