Potential strike action sparks call for reserve crew

The fire service is looking for ordinary people to step up to the mark after fears over firefighters’ pensions spark talk of strike action.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service is appealing to people to become reserve firefighters to ensure a back up is in place should its current workforce take industrial action.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) is currently balloting its members over whether or not to strike following the ultimatum given to them by the Government to accept pension reforms by July 12, or face having them imposed. The ballot closes August 29.

Gary Mitchell, FBU regional secretary, said: “We have still got a lot of questions that need answers.”

He explained that it was unclear what members’ contributions to the pension scheme would be and there were issues over firefighters capabilities as they got older.

“Up to 66 per cent of firefighters will be unable to reach the fitness standards at age 52 to 60, so they will be unable to get their pension, and there is nowhere to deploy them any more due to the cut backs,” Gary added.

Anyone interested in becoming reserve fire crew can call the fire service on 01332 777017. Lines are open 8am to 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), Friday, Monday and Tuesday.

For more information, visit www.derbys–fire.gov.uk