Fire cover in West Norfolk is likely to be affected by a series of strikes starting today and being held over this weekend.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is striking today from noon until 5pm, tomorrow from 2pm until 2am on Sunday and then again from 10am to 3pm on Sunday.
The strike action is being undertaken by Norfolk FBU firefighter members and is taking place due to a national dispute between the government and the FBU over changes to the pension scheme.
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said during the periods of industrial action in which firefighters are striking there will be reduced levels of cover and around half of fire stations across the county will be closed temporarily.
But the 999 response service will continue during all of the periods of strike action and should be contacted in the usual way. If necessary calls will be prioritised as they come in and it is hoped that the public will continue to assist them by placing extra emphasis on their own safety.
Nigel Williams, chief fire officer at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We will continue to operate the best service we possibly can, however, it is inevitable that the industrial action will put additional demand on the service.
“We have been carefully planning since the last strikes which took place over the festive period. Therefore, we believe we are prepared to deal with incidents in the best way possible.
“The level of response available from Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service during any period of industrial action doesn’t affect the likelihood of a fire happening in your home, a workplace or other premises. So I would urge members of the public to be extra vigilant and take all necessary precautions during this time.”
Dan Roper, cabinet member for public protection at Norfolk County Council, said: “In the previous periods of industrial action we have had a very positive response from the public who have clearly been vigilant and taken safety messages on board. I would hope for a similar response this time.
“We have good contingency arrangements in place and the public can feel assured that emergency calls will be answered.”