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Firefighters in Hairngey join strike of Fire Brigades’ Union across England and Wales
Firefighters across Haringey are joining a national walk-out in a row over pensions this afternoon.
Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) across England and Wales are taking strike action between midday and 4pm over the dispute.
London Fire Brigade has arranged cover from 27 fire engines but says it will only be able to respond to emergency incidents.
Incidents the brigade will not be attending include grass and tree fires, rubbish fires, animal rescues, people trapped in lifts, gas leaks and flooding.
The row arose from government plans to increase firefighters’ pension contributions for the third year running.
The FBU claims thousands of firefighters are also facing the sack with major pension losses if they fail to meet rigorous front-line fitness tests in their late 50s.
Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades’ Union general secretary, said: “This initial strike is a warning shot to government.
“Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions. Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues.
“It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late fifties. The lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.
“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”
LFB insists that every fire station in the capital will be able to provide some cover during the walk-out this afternoon, and says it will not be intimidated by the union’s action.
London fire 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.
“Our plans were tried and tested during the industrial action taken by the London FBU in October and November 2010 and they will mean that every area of London has fire cover.
“We will still attend emergencies but the contingency service is not intended to match the brigade’s normal day to day cover so it is important that people take extra care, have working smoke alarms and take fire safety seriously.”
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