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Firefighters will strike on New Years Eve across Hertfordshire
As residents see in the New Year tonight firefighters across Hertfordshire will be on strike.
The walk out by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU), part of a long-running dispute with the Government over proposed changes to their pensions, will take place between 6pm and 12.30am.
The FBU has called strike action more than six times in recent weeks.
The latest strike follows a five-hour walkout on Christmas Eve. During that time Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service resilience crews received four emergency calls from 7pm to midnight.
Firefighters are also set to strike between 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday, January 3.
Councillor Richard Thake, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Planning at Hertfordshire County Council branded strike action as “irresponsible.”
He said: "We are extremely disappointed that talks between the Fire Brigades Union and government seem to have broken down and that yet more strike action has been announced.
"Repeated strike action in a key public service like this is irresponsible. It is detrimental to the safety of the people of Hertfordshire and should not be used as a bargaining tool. We continue to hope for a speedy resolution to this ongoing national dispute and for further walkouts to be avoided.
"If the planned strike does go ahead we will be responding as quickly as possible to serious incidents. In the event of a fire you should still get out, stay out, and call 999 - you will get an emergency response."
Roy Wilsher, Director of Community Protection and Chief Fire Officer, warned residents to “take extra care.”
He said: "Our contingency arrangements have stood up well during previous strike actions, however with fewer resources our ability to respond to incidents is reduced, therefore I urge the public to play their part again and take extra care during the strike action.
“Fortunately residents and businesses have heeded our safety advice during previous strike periods which has resulted in very few call outs but we can never be too careful. At this time of year I know many people will have their Christmas decorations up so will need to take extra care with fairy lights and other electrical items, which should never be left on when you're not in the room.
"Many of you will also be out celebrating and visiting friends and family over this period so take care on the road and watch your speed. If you are drinking, plan ahead and make sure you know how you will be getting home. For those who are staying at home, please check your smoke alarm is working and do not leave any cooking unattended.
"Businesses and schools should double check their risk assessments and fire plans and ensure staff are fully briefed."
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