WILTSHIRE Fire and Rescue Service is finalising its contingency plans to deal with further strikes by firefighters.

The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has announced that, as part of its on-going national dispute with the Government over pension reforms, its members will be walking out for 24 hours from 9am on Thursday 12 June.

A further seven hour strike has also been announced for Saturday 21 June, starting at 10am.

It is anticipated that personnel at the wholetime fire stations at Swindon, Stratton, Westlea, Trowbridge, Chippenham and Salisbury will be unavailable for emergency calls at these times. The on-call stations at Calne, Warminster, Melksham and Pewsey will also be on strike.

The Service has established a range of plans in order to maintain fire cover across the county, which will include crews responding from alternative locations. On-call stations unaffected by the strike should also be providing fire cover as usual on both dates.

Chief Fire Officer Simon Routh-Jones said: “By walking out for 24 hours, which will be the longest strike action so far, the FBU is clearly out to cause the maximum disruption. As I have said before, the union’s dispute is with the Government, yet the impact of these strikes is entirely on individual Fire & Rescue Services and the communities we are here to protect.”

He added: “As on previous occasions, we will be making every effort to provide the best possible emergency response for people in Wiltshire and Swindon, but we will be operating with reduced resources and this will have an effect. During the strike periods, we will still respond to 999 calls, but it may take us a little longer than usual to arrive and, with larger premises, we may send a smaller attendance than usual in the first instance.”

For safety advice visit www.wiltsfire.gov.uk.