RESIDENTS are being reassured contingency plans are in place as firefighters prepare to stage a four-hour walk-out across Stafford, Stone and Rugeley tomorrow in a row over pensions.
Residents are being urged to take extra care during the strike action by the Fire Brigades Union between 12pm and 4pm.
Only a skeleton staff, including some who are not members of the FBU, will be available to cover across the county, meaning emergency calls will have to be prioritised.
Calls will be monitored and managed by a senior officer who will be based in fire control during the industrial action.
The national FBU announced last week it was declaring the industrial action over changes to their Government pension payments and conditions of service. The union has to give seven days’ notice prior to the action.
Chief fire officer Peter Dartford said: “Residents can be reassured that the service has worked hard to put together a stringent action plan ahead of the national Fire Brigades Union strike. However, it will not be business as usual and I would advise residents to be extra vigilant during the four hour period.
“While we would always tell people to dial 999 if there is a real emergency, we would ask them to think carefully and to only do so if necessary as there will be fewer crews available across the county to respond to incidents.
“Residents are being asked to ensure smoke alarms are in good working order, to take care when cooking and check electrical appliances and plugs. It is also important to dispose of all smoking materials carefully, plan an escape route and introduce a simple safety routine at bedtime. Motorists should also take extra care when driving, fasten your seatbelt, don’t use a mobile phone and don’t drive when overtired. These simple steps could save lives.”