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Fire call-outs in county during latest strike action

Firefighters on strike outside Forest Gate Fire Station, Blackpool. Pictured are Dennis Swan, Pete Halsall, Gary Parkinson, Chris Boardman, Peter Duane and Mark Warwick.

Firefighters on strike outside Forest Gate Fire Station, Blackpool. Pictured are Dennis Swan, Pete Halsall, Gary Parkinson, Chris Boardman, Peter Duane and Mark Warwick.

A handful of minor incidents had to be attended by ‘resilience crews’ during the latest firefighters strike on New Year’s Eve.

Crews across the county walked out in a row over pensions at 6.30pm on Tuesday, and did not return until 12.30am yesterday.

During that time, emergencies were dealt with by a small team of non-striking firefighters.

A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said: “The strike undertaken by FBU members has now ended.

“The majority of our fire engines remained operational for the duration of the strike and resilience crews successfully dealt with incidents including a rubbish fire in the open on Brunswick Street, Whalley, a wheelie bin fire in Sherwood Close, Nelson, and a fire involving a microwave in Beddington Street, Nelson.

“There were no injuries or rescues undertaken at this incident.

“We also took a handful of calls from across the county that were false alarms.”

It was the eighth strike in the current dispute by union members in Wales and England.

The UK fire minister said the decision to strike over the festive period was “completely cynical”, adding robust contingency arrangements were in place.

The UK government plans to raise firefighters’ retirement age from 55 to 60 and increase their pension contributions.

Ministers say pensions remain “generous”, but the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has said it could lead to older staff being sacked or having their pensions reduced.

A further strike is planned to take place tomorrow between 6.30am and 8.30am.

 

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