Fire strike passes off quietly in Wiltshire
11:40pm Friday 1st November 2013 in Latest News
The strike by firefighters across the county passed off quietly tonight, with only one call to the Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service received during the walk out between 6.30pm and 11pm.
A stand-by crew working in Swindon was called to a false alarm with good intent at St Margaret’s Road, Croft at 10.18pm, where a plug socket had overheated.
To deal with the strike, the service used four ‘resilience’ fire crews to provide cover from alternative locations in Swindon, Warminster, Melksham and Salisbury, and these were available alongside on-call crews.
Of the firefighters scheduled to work during the afternoon, 103 were on duty and 148 were on strike.
This saw the fire stations in Salisbury, Trowbridge, Chippenham, Stratton, Swindon and Westlea closed for the duration, and the on-call stations at Melksham, Warminster, Calne and Pewsey were also unavailable.
Over the course of the strike, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service maintained 18 fire engines as available; on an average day, the service would expect to have around 24 appliances available.
As of 11pm, all striking crews returned to duty.
Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “Given that there were concerns that Bonfire Night celebrations may present a greater risk tonight, I am very pleased that we had such a quiet time.
"My thanks go to the communities of Wiltshire and Swindon, who took extra care and kept themselves safe. I am also grateful to those on-call firefighters whose support meant we could maintain fire cover across the county.”
He added: “We are now looking ahead to the next strike, due to take place between 6am and 8am on Monday morning, when we should have similar arrangements in place to protect local people.
"The greatest risk will be on the roads, especially given the autumnal conditions and reduced visibility, and we would urge everyone to be extra careful when driving – it’s better to arrive a few minutes late than not to arrive at all.”
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