Firefighters strike comes to an end

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Firefighters across West Yorkshire attended 170 incidents during their industrial action over the bank holiday weekend.

In Calderdale, a total of five incidents were recorded including: a false alarm in Halifax, a person stuck in Sowerby, a road traffic collision involving two cars and two other minor incidents.

The 12-hour strike undertaken by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) between 2pm on Saturday and 2am on Sunday as the busiest period for WYFRS crews, receiving 131 calls which resulted in attendance at 63 incidents across the county.

A number of incidents generated numerous calls hence the fact that there were more calls received than incidents attended. There were no calls for help that went unanswered.

Assistant Chief Officer Dave Walton said strike action was now completed but union members are now entering a period of action short of strike (ASOS) which is expected to continue until midday on Friday, May 9.

“This is not expected to affect our emergency response,” he said.

“We would encourage members of the public to remain vigilant and always make fire safety a priority. Check your smoke alarms every week because they could save your life.”

On average, WYFRS has experienced around 20 incidents during the same five hour time frame as today’s strike in the last three years.

Their contingency plans ensured that they had 25 fire engines covering the county, whereas their normal fleet is 54.

They were strategically placed in areas of higher risk and manned either by firefighters who have chosen not to strike or Community Response Operatives (CROs) under the guidance of senior officers.

CROs have been specially recruited for this purpose and have undergone three weeks’ intensive training to give them the basic skills required to deal effectively with all types of emergencies the fire service attends.

Since the last strike, in the New Year period, CROs have undergone refresher training.