Firefighters in St Albans take part in an eight day strike in a continuing row over pensions

Picture from stock

Picture from stock

First published in St Albans & Harpenden Review: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Firefighters in St Albans have taken part in an eight day strike in a continuing row over pensions. 

During the strike there was only one fire appliance covering the St Albans area, rather than the normal two during non-strike periods. 

The Fire Brigades Union have already staged walk-outs over 24 days since strikes began in September last year and firefighters have gone on strike for more than 160 hours.

Hertfordshire Fire Brigade Union secretary Tony Smith said "unsafe and unrealistic" proposals will see firefighters working longer and having their pensions cut.

The row centres on plans to raise firefighters' retirement age from 55 to 60 and increase their pension contributions.

Mr Smith said: "We have put our proposals to the Government, who are refusing to listen so we have to take action.

"Obviously this is the last thing we want to be doing but we have to make a stand.

"We are having the evidence ignored and the Government are not interested in what we have to say.

"It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to work until they are 60. We are not asking for the earth but we will continue to take action until we are listened to."

A second appliance that was left in St Albans has a lessor equipped RTC capability, so had the men been called to a car accident, they would have to wait for other resources to turn up from other stations. 

A firefighter at the station in  London Road said the time wasted could be "critical" to a casualties recovery.

The strike took place between August 9 and August 16 from 12pm until 2pm and from 10.59pm until 11.59pm.

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