Firefighters will not respond to less urgent calls during strike


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The Independent Online

Firefighters may not respond to calls about gas leaks, flooding, people trapped in lifts, grass and rubbish  fires, and animal rescues, during a national strike this week, a leading brigade has warned.

London Fire Brigade said it would respond to 999 calls during a four-hour walkout from noon in England and Wales on Wednesday, but urged people to take extra care to prevent fires happening in the first place.

It said it had plans in place to provide a “contingency” level of emergency cover across the capital during the strike and a fire engine will be sent to emergencies including fires in people’s homes, vehicle fires, road accidents and collapsed buildings. But fire engines may not be sent to less urgent and non-life-threatening incidents. Large-animal rescues will be referred to the RSPCA.

London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson said: “As firefighters, our job is to protect the public from fire day and night, so it is a pity that strike action is being taken nationally.”

Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members will take industrial action in a row over pensions. General secretary Matt Wrack said the walkout was a “warning shot” to the Government. FBU members in Scotland will not be taking action while the union discusses proposals put forward by the Scottish Government.