Fire service chiefs have urged the public to be vigilant as crews’ industrial action over proposed pension reforms continues.
Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union began eight successive days of walkouts yesterday as part of their long-running dispute with the government.
And officials say that, although contingency plans are in place to cope with the walkouts, residents should remain cautious.
Nigel Williams, Norfolk’s chief fire officer, said: “We have been working very hard to ensure we are as prepared as possible.”
“We are fortunate that we will have a number of fire stations staffed by trained firefighters who are not taking part in strike action and that many of these will continue to operate as normal.
“If high call volumes are experienced we will need to carefully consider each call as it comes in before determining what our attendance will be.
“Our job is do the very best we can to protect the people of Norfolk and that is what we will do.”
FBU members will be staging two two-hour walkouts today, tomorrow and on Thursday, all between 6 and 8am and 5 and 7pm.
Further stoppages are planned as follows: Friday, July 18 - 6am-8am and 11pm-1am; Saturday, July 19: 11am-1pm and 11pm-1am; Sunday, July 20: 5pm-7pm; Monday, July 21: 6am-8am and 5pm-7pm.
The union will then start industrial action short of strikes at 7pm next Monday until further notice.
Paul Smyth, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “We will try to run the fire service as effectively as possible during the strike periods and it would obviously be useful if the public helped to reduce the demands placed on the service by following its safety advice.”