Firefighters are being offered extra training to step on to the front line as the threat of strike action hangs over the fire service.
Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) voted in favour of industrial action, with 78 per cent supporting a strike if the Government refuses to negotiate over pensions.
Union representatives said a walk out would be “a last resort”, but Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is working to ensure all firefighters who are willing to work through the strike have adequate training,
Courses in driving fire engines, using breathing apparatus and routine safety training are underway at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service’s training centre in Euxton to ensure officers are prepared to step on to the frontline if necessary.
Richard Edney, spokesman for LFRS, said: “Firefighters who work at headquarters, who go out to major incidents to oversee them, are being involved in training.
“These are firefighters who already attend incidents, but may not attend as many as they may have done previously.”
Kev Deacon, chairman of the FBU, said: “This is a case where we want to have exhausted every single avenue, because especially in the fire service, it is a massive step. You can’t take these decisions lightly. Industrial action would be a last resort.”
The FBU has until September 17 to give notice of a strike but says it will continue to press the government to negotiate in an bid to avoid industrial action.