Cover in place locally during latest national fire strike period

The next nationwide scheduled period of industrial strike action over a national dispute between the union and central government over pension reforms is for 24 hours - from 7am on Wednesday February 25 to 7am on Thursday February 26.

Same cover arrangements in place as before

A mixture of non-striking full-time personnel and on-call staff will provide cover in Oxfordshire during the strike period, the same arrangement that has been successfully utilised locally during all of the previous 65 strike periods since September 2013.

There is again an agreement in place with the local Fire Brigades Union (FBU) branch in Oxfordshire which would see striking members return to duty if a serious incident which required significant Fire and Rescue Service attendance happened during the planned strike.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Simon Furlong said: "I want to reassure the county's public that every emergency call made to their Fire and Rescue Service during the latest scheduled national strike period will be responded to.

"This strike is for 24 hours, however we have a cover plan in place which we have utilised well during previous FBU-called strikes and there is an agreement with the FBU locally that striking firefighters will return to work if an incident occurred which required a significant amount of firefighters to attend."

Safety messages

Mr Furlong said: "As happened in all previous strike periods, there will be fewer fire engines available locally during the industrial action. There are though some simple, practical steps which residents in their home or on the road can take to help me keep Oxfordshire as safe as possible.

"People can check that smoke alarms work and also make sure vehicles are road-safe by checking tyre pressures to help guard against a potentially accident-causing blow-out.

"These are easy but significant tasks that people can do to help ensure safety and I would encourage residents to carry them out."

Read video transcript

The national fire brigade union have called another strike, details of which are below. This strike will affect Oxfordshire, however I would like to absolutely reassure you that Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service will be making a response to every 999 call we receive.

However there are things you can do to help us. For those of you at home, please make sure you test your smoke alarm so that you know it’s working. For those on the road driving cars, please make sure you drive slower to give yourself more thinking time.

But we’re also here to help you. Should you wish to receive any advice please either go to our website www.365alive.co.uk or contact us on 08000 325999.

Thank you for helping me make Oxfordshire safer.

Safety messages and advice can be found online via 365alive, an Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue Service initiative which aims to promote a safer community through safety education and preventative work.

A national dispute

County Council Deputy Leader Councillor Rodney Rose, who has Cabinet responsibility for the Fire and Rescue Service, said: "This national strike is the result of an on-going dispute between the FBU and central government and locally there is little we can do to help resolve things.

"We do in Oxfordshire have robust contingency plans in place that have worked successfully to cover previous strikes and we will continue to use these arrangements to cover the latest scheduled period of industrial action."