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Three call-outs as firefighters go on four-hour strike
11:00am Thursday 26th September 2013 in News
Buy this photo » Horspath and Headington fire station firefighters Ellie Hathaway, Kevin Morgan, Nik Brown and Shaun Lewis were among those who joined the four hour national strike. Picture: OX62270 Mark Hemsworth
OXFORDSHIRE’S firefighters were called out only three times during yesterday’s firefighters strike.
Around two-thirds of the county’s firefighters were expected to walk out for four hours between midday and 4pm.
Picket lines were formed outside several stations including Rewley Road and The Slade in Oxford.
The incidents during the strike included two false alarms in Abingdon and Grove as well as a chemical spillage in Barford St Michael in which no one was injured.
Chris Smith, chairman of the Fire Brigades Union at The Slade fire station, said: “From our point of view, we had good turnout and very good public support.
“It obviously shows that the public has some understanding of what we are doing and why we are doing it.”
The strike was called in protest at Government proposals to make firefighters work until they are 60 – rather than 55 at present – and to increase the amount they contribute to their pensions.
Oxfordshire’s Chief Fire Officer Dave Etheridge said: “In preparation for today, we have been involved in extensive business contingency planning and I am very glad to say those plans have all worked.
“That has involved many of the professional firefighters here in Oxfordshire, both full-time and on call, continuing to support Oxfordshire’s communities during the strike.” Originally Oxfordshire County Council had put in place plans for emergency cover to be provided by Securitas, but the authority decided that given the length of the strike and the availability of on-call cover, this would not be needed.
A total of 25 fire engines out of the normal 34 were available.
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