Update: Norfolk firefighters on strike today

Two crews were called to the river in Ludham Two crews were called to the river in Ludham

Friday, May 2, 2014
7:25 AM

Fire chiefs have reassured people in Norfolk that contingency plans are in place as firefighters begin strike action today.

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Staying safe

Fire chiefs issued the following advice:

• Make sure you have working smoke alarms in your home

• Test your smoke alarms regularly

• Never leave lit candles or cooking unattended

• Put cigarettes out – right out

• Plan your escape route – and make sure all your family know it

• Make sure you don’t overload electrical sockets and watch out for faulty electrical equipment

• Treat all flammable materials with care – both using and storing them

• Avoid bonfires

• Take extra care with BBQs

The service is also urging businesses to:
• Review your fire risk assessment and make sure it is current

• Check your fire detection

• Make sure escape plans are in place and employees know what to do

• Avoid arson risks, such as rubbish left around

• Delay activities if they have an increased risk of fire associated with them (e.g. hot cutting or hot works)

Members of the Fire Brigades Union are striking as part of nationwide action in protest at proposed government changes to firefighters’ pensions.

Industrial action started at midday today and will continue until 5pm. It will resume from 2pm until 2am tomorrow and from 10am until 3pm on Sunday.

About half the fire stations in Norfolk are temporarily shut and there is reduced fire service cover.

Bosses at Norfolk Fire and Rescue said the service is continuing to operate a 999 response service during all of the periods of strike action and should be contacted in the usual way.

They said, if necessary, calls will be prioritised as they come in and urged the public to place “extra emphasis on their own safety”.

Nigel Williams, chief fire officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We will continue to operate the best service we possibly can, however, it is inevitable that the industrial action will put additional demand on the service.

“We have been carefully planning since the last strikes which took place over the festive period. Therefore, we believe we are prepared to deal with incidents in the best way possible.

“The level of response available from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service during any period of industrial action doesn’t affect the likelihood of a fire happening in your home, a workplace or other premises. So I would urge members of the public to be extra vigilant and take all necessary precautions during this time.”

Dan Roper, cabinet member for public protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “In the previous periods of industrial action we have had a very positive response from the public who have clearly been vigilant and taken safety messages on board. I would hope for a similar response this time.

“We have good contingency arrangements in place and the public can feel assured that emergency calls will be answered.”

19 comments

  • Andy T- As Douglas Adams wrote: “All opinions are not equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others.” I'm not sure how that applies to your latest post but I defend your right to your opinion even if I vehemently disagree with it. However, for the record I stand behind anyone or group who wants to try to protect the terms and conditions of work that they signed up to. I believe that the workforce in the UK is slowly becoming aclimatised to seeing a continual and steady erosion in their wages and T&C's and much of it isn't necessary or needed. Unfortunately, once one group of workers starts turning on another the race to the bottom is well and truly under way and one has to ask where will it end and who will be the winners?

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    Bad Form

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • "....Try getting a job in a shop or as a farmworker...." . Why don't you get a job as a farmworker instead , and " lower paid workers in private companies " are not " subsidising better paid public workers " , that's a well worn myth much loved by the hard of thinking. What they are subsidising are cosy tax deals between super rich companies like Vodafone and HMCR and massive tax avoidance by the super wealthy. Shouldn't you be out muck spreading , or do you only do that on here ?

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Bad Form. You may have heard the old phrase that "Better to stay silent and appear stupid, rather than open your mouth and remove all doubt"? I have worked in both public and private sector. I have also seen my own pension changed in such a way that to stand still I have to pay 47% of my salary into my pension. Having an opinion does not make a person ignorant. Ignorance is shown by the person who believes that no person can have an opinion that differs from their own. So get real, get educated or failing that join up to be a sandbag in the army so that you can continue laying around whining. Do you also believe that firefighters are the only trained people? Public and private services train their people to learn their craft. Nobody is allowed loose on day one. As part of a different emergency service in the past, my dealings with the brigade suggests that not all are as brave and competent as they should be. Most are, but many are lacking.

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    Andy T

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • High time there was reform of public workers pensions, us lower paid workers in private companies are very fed up with subsidising better paid public workers with providing them with generous pensions. Try getting a job in a shop or as a farmworker and see what it is like to really work hard until you are 65 with no pension provided by other workers

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    blister

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • High time our MP's realised that their troughing and false accounting is to the detriment of society. Why was patrick Mercer not sacked as an MP, he's a crook and so are many others sitting on the benches next to him, scheming crooks who hide behind their public status and get away with it, regardless of party. I support this strike because I do not want to see old firefighters fail on the job, I'd rather see them retire earlier. Mr. Lewis is a pathetic hypocrit, because he had no objections to higher remunerations for MP's, just another pup we accepted as genuine.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • blister- I'll bite! Your argument is illogical as no one forces anyone to choose where they work or what job they do. If a job is low paid it's because either the skills required to do it are minimal or because of the industry they work in. As it was the present government that changed agricultural workers T&C's for the worst in October 2013 your argument is even more obscure. Given that agricultural workers in England conditions of work are so bad why don't they leave as no one forces them to do it? Whilst agricultural workers have a high level of injuries the usual reasons are down to either poor Health & Safety training or a lack of care by the worker involved by failing to either adhere to H&S rules or by failing to carry out their own risk assessments. If you work in agriculture it's your choice so don't blame others for the conditions and salary offered.

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    Bad Form

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • @ Norfolk John During a previous firemen's strike, a call came through that there was a fire at the Great Hospital in Norwich. There was no hesitation, no argument - they responded immediately, and their speed, teamwork, and professionalism was a joy to watch. I'm sure that there are many readers who do not realise that striking firemen, through their union, have agreed to respond to a call where there is thought to be risk to life....Its those areas where their employers have decided to respond to a strike with a 'lock-out' that put people most at risk. Making strikes illegal takes away the 'last resort' bargaining power of any worker - the right to withdraw their labour. This country doesn't make it illegal for companies to withdraw their operations abroad, and should maintain an ordinary working person's right to strike.

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    angela

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Norfolk John- Have you really thought through the implications of your post? Simply because a job is important doesn't and shouldn't mean that you give this government or any other one the right to refuse to enter meaningful negotiations by denying workers their right to withdraw their labour, no matter how inconvenient. Taken to it's logical conclusion what's next? The Ambulance Service or Coastguard? What about Nurses and Midwives? Perhaps you'd like to deny anyone who's in dispute with their employer from striking? Funny, but I thought this country had gone to war to stop that sort of totalitarianism?

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    Bad Form

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Isn’t it time that it was made illegal for firemen to strike, just like the armed forces and the police service.

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    Norfolk John

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • How about the firefighters try getting a job as a farm worker which is a more dangerous and less well paid job with no pension and having to work until 65 instead of early retirement, most low paid workers are fed up subsidising public sector pensions

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    blister

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Get a proper job Blister and stop trolling on here all day.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • "....Much of the firefighters time is spent....rescue ing pigeons from netting ....". And much of your time is spent trolling on here all day under a variety of names posting provocative comments on subjects you have no real interest in or knowledge of in the hope of reeling in some unsuspecting reader unfamiliar with your motives. What a brave boy you are .....and what a life !

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • High time public sector workers realised that their very high pensions and wages are unsustainable, and it is very unfair that less well paid workers in the private sector doing just as important jobs have to subsidise firefighters and teachers etc.

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    blister

    Friday, May 2, 2014

  • Andy T- You are right that it's a job they chose and wanted to do. It is also a job that they got into based on a set of criteria and terms and conditions of work which are now being changed for the worse by this government. Of course the ignorant will always say that there are plenty of people willing to be a Firefighter, Paramedic, Policeman or Teacher. Well, if they meet the criteria and are happy to work for less and to pay more of their salary out as well as receive a reduced pension, I'd say good luck to them. Unfortunately, the ignorant also appear to forget the time, energy and costs which each of these professionals require in order to learn their craft as well as to gain experience before they are let loose on the public. A professional Firefighter will be at least two years in post before their considered competent. Of course if you feel happy for the unqualified and probably unmotivated person who fancies becoming a Firefighter to be able to rescue you from a burning house or crashed car or do any of the other things they train for then I'm sure this government will be happy to hear from you. In the meantime get real!

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    Bad Form

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • "....blister...." ? No doubt multi-account trolls burn as well .

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • It's a job they choose. Important I know,and sometimes dangerous. But so is teaching, Police, Ambulance Service and working on an oil rig! For everyone that chooses to leave I'm sure that there's more than one person willing to fill the gap they leave. Why should they be treated different to anyone else?

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    Andy T

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • Wishing the striking firefighters every success in their actions against government plans to change their working conditions and pension arrangements, and recommend readers access the FBU website to learn more about the implications of these government plans.

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    angela

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • For Blister, read Brandon Lewis MP ?

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    Mellifluous

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

  • I just love a person who's not afraid to stand up and speak from a position of complete ignorance. Well done Blister.

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    A M

    Thursday, May 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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