Firefighters to stage four-hour strike against pension row

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Firefighters in Calderdale are due to strike for four hours from midday today in a dispute over pensions.

Unions say it is a “warning shot to the government” over members’ anger about making them work until they are 60.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue has a contingency plan to provide cover and 999 calls will be answered.

The force has been recruiting ‘community response volunteers’ to provide cover.

Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union General Secretary, said: “This initial strike is a warning shot to government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions. Governments in Westminster and Cardiff have simply refused to see sense on these issues.

“It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late-50s: the lives of the general public and firefighters themselves will be endangered.

“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”

Chief Fire Officer, Simon Pilling, is confident that the service will provide an effective service as possible during periods of industrial action, however he is asking everyone, including members of the general public and business communities to play a part in preventing fires and other emergency incidents taking place.