THE latest round of industrial action by the Fire Brigades Union ended at 12.30am on New Year’s Day.

Firefighting crews are now back on duty across Hampshire.

During the latest round of strike action, which came a week after the industrial action on Christmas Eve, there were on average 30 fire appliances available to respond to emergencies across the county which is around 40 per cent of usual capacity. Most appliances were crewed by retained firefighters and some of the operational staff not based on fire stations. The brigade say it was able to respond well within its 20- minute target time with this level of cover.

Assistant Chief Officer Bob Ratcliffe said: ‘We would ask people to continue not to take any unnecessary risks over the remainder of the festive period.”

Meanwhile in Wiltshire Crews at ten of the county’s 24 fire stations were unavailable to respond to incidents during the strike, but the service had contingency plans in place to maintain cover using on-call firefighters and alternative locations as appropriate.