DERBYSHIRE: ‘Attend organised bonfire displays during strike’ – fire chiefs urge

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Firefighters across Derbyshire are set to go on strike tomorrow evening amid Bonfire Night celebrations.

Members of the Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) will walk out between 6.30pm and 11pm in an ongoing row over pensions.

Derbyshire fire service is urging residents to attend organised bonfire displays and reconsider holding celebrations at home.

Area manager Bryan Bennett said: “Bonfire night is traditionally a time when the fire service sees an increase in emergency calls, as bonfires get out of hand or a stray firework sparks a fire.

“I would urge everyone to attend an organised bonfire and fireworks display this year, particularly on Friday evening when the service will be operating at a reduced level and having to prioritise all emergency calls.

“By attending an organised display you can still enjoy the celebrations knowing you are safe and not at risk of fire or injury.”

The Government plans to make firefighters work up to the age of 60 and argues that their pension offer is generous.

But the FBU says firefighters in their late 50s are too old to be fighting fires and rescuing families.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: “Firefighters don’t want to go on strike, but we are left with no option when the Government and the employers refuse to deal with the problems of their own making.”

The FBU stressed the strike had not been timed to concide with Bonfire Night celebrations.

During the first strike at the end of September, 32,000 firefighters across the country walked out for four hours, according to the FBU.

They will also down tools on Monday between 6am and 8am.

If you do intent to go ahead and hold your own own bonfire, follow the safety advice here.