Firefighters’ Strike, 21 June

Update issued at 5pm, Saturday 21 June:

A spokesman for West Midlands Fire Service said: “Although this is a national dispute, it clearly affects us here in the West Midlands.

“Today’s seven hours of industrial action again required us to implement our contingency plans so we could continue to deliver a service to our communities.

“Fortunately, none of the 31 incidents to which we deployed between 10am and 5pm involved any serious injury.”

Incidents attended since last update at 1pm:

13.07 Tile Hill, Coventry: conifer tree on fire
13.30 Knowle, Solihull: assistance to police at an incident
13.31 Lye, Stourbridge: fire in horse box
13.54 Bordesley Green, Birmingham: controlled burning
14.16 Coventry: bonfire
14.24 Ladywood, Birmingham: residential false alarm
14.34 Sheldon, Birmingham: man stuck on house roof
14.41: Chapelfields, Coventry: fire in the open
14.42 Ward End, Birmingham: boy with leg stuck in garden trampoline, free on arrival
14.48 Rednall, Birmingham: alarm acitivated by cooking fumes; elderly lady treated for smoke inhalation
14.54 Coventry: false alarm at residential home
14.57 Sparkhill, Birmingham: garden fire
14.59 Hurst Green, Halesowen: false alarm, cooking fumes
15.01 Foleshill, Coventry: false alarm, controlled burning
15.39 Oldbury: young child locked in room
15.45 Handsworth, Birmingham: alarm activating, no fire
16.11 Handsworth, Birmingham: reported grass fire but false alarm

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Since the start of industrial action by firefighters at 10am this morning (21 June), we have had 23 fire engines available to deploy plus two Brigade Response Vehicles which carry a crew of three.

Incidents attended as of 1pm:

10.33 Longbridge, Birmingham: two-car collision
10.40 Edgbaston, Birmingham: automatic fire alarm, no fire
10.50 Holbrooks, Coventry: smoke detector, false alarm
11.29 Perry Barr, Birmingham: garden fire
11.29 Blakenhall, Wolverhampton: industrial unit alarm, no fire
12.07 Winson Green, Birmingham: fire reported in derelict property, false alarm
12.11 Newtown, Birmingham: false alarm cause by cooking fumes
12.19 Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield: small fire in kitchen bin
12.22 Bilston: false alarm at care home
12.26 Smethwick: false alarm, controlled burning in garden
12.28 Four Oaks, Sutton Coldfield: smoke detector, false alarm
12.29 Ladywood, Birmingham: two-car collision
12.51 Halesowen: barbecue burning out of control
12.58 New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton: false alarm    

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West Midlands Fire Service is set to activate detailed contingency plans to keep people as safe as possible this Saturday (21 June) during a seven-hour strike by firefighters.

The 10am-5pm national walkout is the latest in a pensions-related dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government.

Saturday is the longest day in 2014, and forecast to be dry and fine - prompting the brigade to highlight its ‘Play it safe this summer’ message.

Paul Burnham, Area Commander (Response and Resource Management), said: “As people start thinking ahead to the weekend, we’re asking them to pay even closer attention to safety on Saturday because of the strike.

“It’s the longest day of 2014, and I’m sure that lots of people will be thinking about days out, an afternoon barbecue or community events.

“Our operational staff who aren’t on strike and their colleagues in Fire Control will be doing their very best to respond to emergencies, but it will be a reduced service. Whether people are at home, work or out and about, vigilance and common sense can make the difference between needing to call 999 or not.”

Treble-9 calls will still be answered as usual, but the brigade is reminding people only to dial in a genuine emergency. Incidents involving a threat to life will get a priority response.

Six simple steps towards reducing the risk of fire at home have been published at www.wmfs.net:

1. Protect your home with smoke alarms
2. Take extra care in the kitchen
3. Check your electrics
4. Smoke safely (if you must smoke at all)
5. Sleep safely
6. Plan a safe escape, and make sure any weekend guests know how to get out.

Traffic collisions make up a significant proportion of all incidents dealt with by West Midlands Fire Service. Tips for road users and pedestrians:

•    leave good time for your journey and allow for possible delays
•    any amount of alcohol affects your judgement, coordination and ability to drive, so it’s best not to drink and drive at all
•    if you’re going out for a drink, nominate a designated driver who won’t drink alcohol, use public transport or a pre-ordered taxi, or stay over with family or friends
•    drive appropriately for the road conditions, wear seatbelts and switch lights on if need be
•    stick to speed limits - they give you thinking and braking time
•    pedestrians: be aware of what’s happening around you at all times, especially when crossing the road
•    pedestrians and cyclists: make sure you can be seen - wear bright and reflective clothing; check that your bike lights are working.   

More safety advice for motorists and pedestrians is available in the ‘Stay safe’ section of the brigade’s website. Useful information is also issued via the @WMFSRCRTand @WestMidsFire Twitter accounts.

Ends

Issued by Neil Spencer, Senior Press Officer,West Midlands Fire Service, tel 0121 380 6101. On Twitter we’re @WestMidsFire

Press Release Date: 
Thursday, June 19, 2014 - 08:45