Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer is urging the community to continue to be cautious ahead of this weekend’s Fire Brigades Union strikes.
"Members of the community have really taken our advice on board during previous strike action. I would like to thank them for their vigilance and urge them to do so again this weekend."
Peter Dartford thanked people for their vigilance during previous industrial action which took place on November 13, 4 and 1, and September 25. A planned strike on October 19 was cancelled.
He is now calling for residents, motorists and businesses to be extra careful during the next round of industrial action which will take place from 6pm-10pm tomorrow (13) and again on Saturday (14).
Mr Dartford said: "Members of the community have really taken our advice on board during previous strike action. I would like to thank them for their vigilance and urge them to do so again this weekend. The nights are drawing in now, making driving conditions more hazardous than usual, and the forecast for tomorrow is rain which adds to the potential level of risk.
"Friday and Saturday evenings are also the busiest in our town centres, particularly at this time of year as the party season gets underway. If you are going out to pubs and clubs and enjoying an alcoholic drink, leave the car at home. Also, don’t be tempted to cook when you get back after a night out – the consequences can be devastating.
"I would like to assure people that we will answer all 999 calls to the Service during the industrial action and will respond to all life risk incidents. However, our capacity to respond to all incidents will be reduced and we cannot guarantee ‘business as usual’."
Contingency plans are again being put in place across the county ahead of the industrial action and emergency response crews will be available at strategic locations across Staffordshire.
In addition, the Chief Fire Officer will be based in fire control at Stone HQ to monitor and manage all emergency calls received during the two four-hour strike periods where the Service will be prioritising life risk incidents
The industrial action is taking place due to a dispute between the FBU and government over pensions.