FIREFIGHTERS in South Tyneside are set to strike again next weekend.
Members of the Fire Brigades Union in the borough will stage a five-hour protest from 6.30pm to 11.30pm on Saturday as part of a national dispute over pensions with the Government.
It’s the second strike after an action on Wednesday, September 25.
Fire chiefs are urging people to take extra care in the hours when industrial action is taking place, as they aim to provide cover including using retired firefighters .
Chief Fire Officer Tom Capeling, of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS), said: “The service has plans in place to offer a limited response service.
“These plans have been in place for a number of years and we put them into action during the initial period of industrial action by the FBU on September 25.
“They are based on a reduced number of appliances, strategically placed across Tyne and Wear according to risk and the ability to maintain the best response.
“As ever, our appliances are available to attend incidents across Tyne and Wear and their attendance will be prioritised according to the risk to life and property.
“Fire service officers and staff we have recruited and trained in recent weeks will drive and staff a number of our appliances.
“This includes recently retired firefighters and staff the service has temporarily recruited, who were successful during our last recruitment campaign process but for whom there were no vacancies.
“It also includes former military and specialist personnel.
“This plan is not designed to replicate the excellent service our firefighters provide; but to provide a core operational service in the event of industrial action.
“We hope talks between the two parties will continue and the industrial action can still be avoided.
“We would like to ask the public to take extra care with fire safety in the period of strike action and to ensure they have working smoke alarms on each level of their property and that they check them.”
During September’s strike, TWFRS received nine calls and attended five incidents.