General, HP, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service

Key facts ahead of national fire strikes

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

When are the fire strikes?

From 6pm on Friday 31 October 2014 until 6pm on Tuesday 4 November 2014.

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?

Fire engines will be crewed by a combination of non-striking firefighters and personnel provided 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 necessary firefighters’ training 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 9-16 August 2014 there were up to 12 fire engines, about half of our normal capability. The staff on shift during these strikes period comprised SGI, non-striking firefighters and other staff.

Will firefighters be locked out of stations?

Firefighters will be free to access fire stations during strike hours.

Will firefighters be allowed to picket outside their stations during the strikes?

Striking firefighters can legitimately picket outside their place of work, providing they comply with the picketing code of practice.

Is there anything we can do to keep safe?

Non-striking firefighters and contingency personnel will crew as many fire engines as possible during the strikes, although there will be fewer than normal.

We would ask the public to take extra care during this period.  Attending well-organised Bonfire Events is just one of the ways of staying safer. However, if you are planning your own celebrations please follow the Fireworks Code.

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