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Industrial Action - Firefighters

Industrial action usually happens when trade union members are involved in a dispute with the government or their employer that fails to be resolved by negotiation.

Disruption to services could affect any public sector organisation in the event of industrial action. Strike action by firefighters has been particularly highlighted by government and special arrangements are now in place.

An example would be a reduction in emergency fire and rescue cover in County Durham and Darlington because of industrial action.

Fire service industrial action

Who can be affected?

Those needing the assistance of the fire and rescue service during times of industrial action.

What are we doing in County Durham and Darlington?

The government’s decision to withdraw military support during periods of industrial action means that since 2008 fire authorities nationwide have needed to plan and prepare to be self-reliant.

Fire authorities are legally required to provide an appropriate emergency response during times of large absence numbers including industrial action.

To comply with this responsibility, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service have comprehensive plans in place to provide a fire and rescue emergency response from strategic locations across County Durham and Darlington.

The service uses trained fire officers to both drive and staff fire appliances along with other emergency response vehicles during any period of strike action.

In the lead up to any industrial action the service will continue to raise awareness of fire and other risks within the local community and with businesses across County Durham and Darlington.

The service website at [external link] will carry information about strike action as well as practical information for the public, businesses and organisations about how to stay safe. Updates are available via Twitter and Facebook. [external link] and [external link]

What can you do?

Increase your awareness of the main causes of fire, such as electrics, smoking materials and unattended pans in the kitchen and take action to reduce the risk of fire at home and work.

  • Make sure that you have working smoke alarms fitted and test them regularly.
  • Develop a night-time routine to improve home safety.
  • Prepare an escape plan that can be used in the event of a fire and make sure that everyone in your household is aware of it.
  • Never leave cooking unattended on the kitchen hob.
  • Take extra care when driving and only make essential journeys.
  • Leave refuse out as close to collection times as possible and store empty bins in a secure place off the street.
  • In the event of a fire – get out, stay out and call 999.

Where can you get further information?

Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service [external link]

The website contains information on a wide range of safety topics and urgent public safety information.

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