Fire strikes ‘last resort’

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Firefighters planning to walk out for a second time in a dispute over pensions say it is not a decision they have taken lightly.

The Fire Brigades Union has called a strike following a dispute with the Government over plans to raise the retirement age for firefighters.

FBU Blackpool representative Chris Molloy said: “The public needs to understand this is an absolute last resort – nobody wants to go on strike.”

The walk-out follows the four-hour strike on September 25. On Saturday, they will leave their posts from 6.30pm until 11.30pm.

Mr Molloy said efforts to raise the retirement age for firefighters could undermine public safety.

He added: “The job takes its toll and just gets harder and harder.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue chief fire officer Chris Kenny said: “This is a national dispute between the FBU and Government and is not a dispute between LFRS and our firefighters.

“We do have a significant number of our staff who have given a commitment to maintain emergency cover and as a result the public can be reassured that the service plans to keep the majority of fire engines in Lancashire operational during the dispute period.”

He added that he had written to the Government to urge progress in negotiations between the two sides involved.

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