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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Chief Fire Officer issues warning ahead of FBU strikes

27/12/2013

Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer is urging party goers to be extra careful during the Fire Brigades Union strike on New Year’s Eve.

"We would urge people to be extra vigilant during the national Fire Brigade Union strike on New Year’s Eve - traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year in our towns."

Chief Fire Officer, Peter Dartford

Peter Dartford said contingency plans were being put in place across the county and emergency response crews would be available at strategic locations.

Mr. Dartford will also be based in fire control at Stone HQ to monitor all emergency calls received during the strike from 6.30pm on December 31 to 12.30am on January 1.

Life risk incidents will be prioritised but it will not be business as usual during the six-hour period.

Mr Dartford said: “We would urge people to be extra vigilant during the national Fire Brigade Union strike on New Year’s Eve - traditionally one of the busiest nights of the year in our towns. While we want people to have a good time, we also want them to welcome 2014 in safely. If you are going to enjoy a night out, look after yourself and your friends. Leave the car at home and get a taxi if you are going to have a drink and never drive when tired.

“Likewise, if you are planning to have a house party, don’t cook if you have been drinking alcohol – more than half of the fires in the home are caused by cooking accidents – don’t put yourself at risk.

“We would also strongly urge people not to release sky lanterns. Once a sky lantern has been set off, there is absolutely no way that you can control where it lands. They pose a real danger to animals as, if they try to eat the lanterns, the wire within can cause injury to their stomachs and mouths. The best way to avoid any of these unwanted consequences is to steer well clear of setting off sky lanterns in the first place. Don’t risk turning a celebration into a tragedy.”

There will be an additional strike from 6.30am-8.30am on Friday, January 3.

The FBU voted to strike in a dispute with the government over pensions.