Firefighters are going back on strike for eight consecutive days in their continuing dispute over pensions.

Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service is putting contingency plans into place to deal with the action by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union.

The union has announced a series of short strikes from Saturday until the following Saturday. FBU members will be striking between 12noon and 2pm and 10.59pm and 11.59pm each day.

Fire bosses expect  personnel at the wholetime fire stations at Swindon, Stratton, Westlea, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury will be unavailable for emergency calls at these times. The on-call stations at Calne, Warminster, Melksham and Pewsey will also be on strike.

The Service has established a range of plans in order to maintain cover across the county, which will include crews responding from alternative locations. On-call stations unaffected by the strike should also be providing an emergency response as usual on all strike dates.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “As on previous occasions, we will have reduced resources during these strike periods. We will respond to 999 calls, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive.”

Fire bosses have gioven these tips on staying safe during the strike:

Always make sure you have working smoke alarms and test them every week.

Never leave cooking unattended. The majority of fires start in the kitchen so this is a high risk area. Avoid cooking whilst under the influence of alcohol and always turn off kitchen appliances when you have finished cooking.

If you smoke, make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished. Take particular care when you’re tired or been drinking, as it’s very easy to fall asleep while your cigarette is still burning.
Make sure everyone in your home knows what to do in the event of a fire – get out, stay out, call 999.

If you’re out on the roads, drive to the conditions and never drive if you’ve been drinking. Remember, it’s better to arrive a few minutes late than not arrive at all.