First strike by Norfolk Firefighters passes without incident ahead of week of walkouts

Firefighters on the picket line at Trowse fire station during the a strike last November. 
PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY Firefighters on the picket line at Trowse fire station during the a strike last November. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Monday, July 14, 2014
9:02 AM

The first two-hour strike by firefighters in Norfolk passed without incident this morning.

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David Ashworth, Area Manager at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “There were no emergency calls at all and the strike passed without event.

“The arrangements we have put in place have been able to meet operational needs.”

Bosses at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service are reassuring members of the public that contingency plans are in place ahead of the week of strike action by members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU).

The national walk out, which involves some of Norfolk’s firefighters, is taking place due to a national dispute between the government and the FBU over changes to the pension scheme.

The FBU is protesting that firefighters face having to pay higher pension contributions, work into their late 50s before retiring and could be sacked because their fitness declines as they get older.

But the government maintains the changes are fair.

The strike action is taking place on the following days at the following times:

• Monday (July 14) from 6am until 8am and from 5pm until 7pm.

• Tuesday (July 15) from 6am until 8am and from 5pm until 7pm.

• Wednesday (July 16) from 6am until 8am and from 5pm until 7pm.

• Thursday (July 17) from 6am until 8am and from 5pm until 7pm.

• Friday (July 18) from 6am until 8am and from 11pm until 1am on Saturday.

• Saturday (July 19) from 11am until 1pm and from 11pm until 1am on Sunday.

• Sunday (July 20) from 5pm until 7pm.

• Monday (July 21) from 6am until 8am and from 5pm until 7pm. After that industrial action short of a strike will continue until further notice.

Norfolk’s Fire chiefs said emergency fire calls will continue to be answered, but 999 calls may be prioritised and responses may be tailored to match operational demand.

They said about half of the county’s fire stations will be shut and there will be reduced levels of cover.

Norfolk’s chief fire officer Nigel Williams said: “We are facing short duration strike action over a prolonged period compared to the previous walk outs.

“However, I would like to reassure people in Norfolk that we have been working very hard to ensure we are as prepared as possible to deal with as many incidents as we can.

“We are fortunate in Norfolk that we will have a number of fire stations staffed by trained firefighters who are not taking part in strike action and that many of these will continue to operate as normal.

“If high call volumes are experienced we will need to carefully consider each call as it comes in before determining what our attendance will be.

“Our job is do the very best we can to protect the people of Norfolk and that is what we will do.”

Paul Smyth, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee said: “It is unfortunate this escalating national dispute remains unresolved.

“As in previous industrial action, we will try to run the Fire Service as effectively as possible during the strike periods and it would obviously be useful if the public helped to reduce the demands placed on Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service by following safety advice.”

Safety advice is available here.

28 comments

  • These strikes are really only about one thing. At present the taxpayer has to put in £20 billion annually to fund those parts of their pensions that they do not pay for. And they want this to continue. Nice work if you can get it. I expect someone from the public sector will argue with this, but they are facts. Go on the web and you will find them do from the Treasury and independent audits

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    weaversway

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Leaving aside the reasons why these well paid, well pensioned and hardly overworked firemen feel the need to strike – why are they allowed to wear their uniforms whilst striking?

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    Norfolk John

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Join the " real " world Blister ......get a job , take up a hobby and stop hanging around this forum all day under a variety of names.

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Even the previous Labour government agreed that retirement age must be raised and I doubt wether the firemen will be any luckier in their quest if Labour are elected next year. It is unfair that one group of workers expect to retire 10 years before anyone else and receive a generous pension paid for by lower paid workers who may be just as valuable as workers and yet do not get a pension

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    blister

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Time for the firemen to join the real world, yes they do a useful and sometimes dangerous job but so do lots of other people including farmworkers and construction workers and they don't expect to receive generous salaries, retire 10 years before anyone else and receive a valuable pension financed by lower paid workers.

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    blister

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • 999gsi recent survey Ambo crews are taking 3 mins longer to get to emergency calls, and another survey says Ambo crews are causing more RTA's through bad driver training.. going well isn't it. get the "L" plates out..

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    Footyboy16

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Hardworking Ambo crews.. thats the funniest thing I have heard !! shows how thick they are, A numpy paramedic came into our Close the other week and said "Can I get out the other end" oh yeah thats why its called a "Close"..

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    Footyboy16

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Lol "999gsi" another classic statement. even when the firefighters are asleep they do a better job than the "Ambo crews" in a recent survey Ambo Crews are taking 3 minutes longer to get to emergency calls. also in a recent survey Ambo crews are being involved in more RTA's through bad driver training skills or no training at all. even the AA and RAC get to people quicker than Ambo Service..

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    Footyboy16

    Monday, July 14, 2014

  • Ahh ladyboy.. Sorry I mean footyboy... The troll has returned .. The failed fireman cum lorry driver is yet again slating the hardworking ambo crews.. If you speak to firefighters they will tell you they sleep all night, ambo control take 2500 calls in 24hrs fire control 100 if you are lucky... I rest my case !!!

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    999gsi

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • who's going to rescue the little kittens in a tree now

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    Phyllis Tyne

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Yes, the fire service do a worthwhile and occasionally dangerous job but so do lots of other people and we can't all retire so early on such generous pensions. When I have done a night shift my boss has never told me to get my head down because there was not much happening. The fire service is in danger of losing its reputation as they only seem interested in their pension and retiring much too early

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    Ryan Bure

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Watson it's quite clear your union pay masters pull your strings, I think there needs to be some mediation but not just give in to a petty strike. If labour were to ever gain power the unions would run this country, taxes would be through the roof and businesses would be going bankrupt because of extreme union demands. Let's hope it never ever happens

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    Sweet cheeks

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • ".......Herts FireService reported that firemen refused to attend a fire in Welwyn a few weeks ago where a man died...." . As you would expect from the forum troll and wind up expert , this is a complete lie. The man in question doused himself in petrol , locked himself in his house , then set fire to himself. They did not refuse to attend and no fire service in the world would have saved. You really need to get out more and join the real world ...." Blister ".

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    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • The only reason Brandon Lewis won't settle this dispute is his desire to have his "Thatcher Moment" for his own party political advantage and ,like Francis Maude and the Oil Tanker dispute,he is prepared to put the safety of the public at risk to achieve it.Lewis is more interested in becoming Brandon The Conqueror than he is resolving the dispute.

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    Peter Watson

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • I don't work for any of the services. I am well aware of the press, as are others. As you say, it's a well known fact. This is about the fire service striking and I support them in what they are doing. You are quite clearly making comparisons which simply don't work and you're still doing it! Lives lost etc! Perhaps you should concentrate your opinions on the article in question.

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    Runner77

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Does seem a bit odd that while people remain healthier longer in their lives and the general retirement age is increasing that firemen should remain in a position of retiring so very early. There are many other workers who carry out just as important and potentially dangerous jobs that do not receive the generous salaries and pensions that the fire service get. I can never imagine workers in other jobs being allowed to play games and sleep on duty and still get paid.

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    Ryan Bure

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Ref "Runner77" classic !! why do I want support for the Fire Service? I support them I am not asking others to support them, I do not work for NFS. I am not having a go at the other services, just stating a well known fact, that has happened to many people in East Anglia, that everyone is aware of, its not a fairytale it is fact and with serious outcomes, as far as I am aware and this is my own opinion lifes have not been lost by NFS. unlike EEAS.. Cheers Muppet.. bet we can't work out who you work for. ??

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    Footyboy16

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Footyboy, what planet are you on. You think that by having a go at the ambulance service you're gonna get support for the fire service? Firstly, idiot, you can't really compare the services. Yes, people have to wait for an ambulance sometimes but that's because they're so busy and it's the same with the police. And like you yourself commented, you don't hear NFS saying they're really busy do you!! Any ideas why that might be? If you want to support the fire service then support them but leave the other services out of it.

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    Runner77

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Interesting that Herts FireService reported that firemen refused to attend a fire in Welwyn a few weeks ago where a man died. The fire service is not the most dangerous job in this country and they should join the real world and try farm work, much more dangerous less well paid and no pension. Many of us lower paid workers in the private sector are fed up with subsidising the fire men's high wages, very early retirement and over generous pensions

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    blister

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Good luck in their struggle. People should get what is agreed to them. There are a lot fatter cats out there.

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    A M

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Dont even start on the ambulance service footyboy! My friend is in the amb service, they have to work until they are 67, have also had pension contributions increased, no payrises and regularly work 13-14 hour shifts. They are on the go the whole time and Ithink they are allowed a whole 30minute break in that time which I believe some of them work through if its busy. Imagine they are dead on their feet by the end of a shift and dont have time for gardening or window cleaning. I believe their union tried strike action a few years ago but it was poorly supported because staff said it wasnt the kind of job you can strike in because some patients need them. So be grateful youve got a job and go squirty squirty

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    woteejits

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • The very best of luck to them from me as well and I hope Yarco chokes on his sour grapes.

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    fester1902

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • My full support behind the firefighters !! if they were given what they deserve then they wouldn't needs part time jobs,and if everyone thinks for one minute that they get to sleep on every single nightshift you are really deluded. Norfolk Fire Service do alot better job than there colleagues in the EEAS, you never hear NFS saying "Sorry we are really busy we will be with you are soon as possible" and laeving you laying on a floor for hours on end in pain, if you have a fire or there is an RTA or flooding or any other kind of emergency they are there in minutes. So I hope all these whingers do not need NFS for anything.

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    Footyboy16

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • They are doing older workers no good what so ever. I work offshore in my mif 50's and do 14 x 13 hours shifts with no problem. we have people out here in there 60's doing exactly the same hard work they were doing 30 years ago. Yes, fitness can decline later in life, but only if you let yourself go does it affect your ability to work. If you cannot handle a few "shouts" a wek and the occasional hard working shift in your late 50's, then it is your fault, not the governments. PS Higher pension contributions is what the real world have been paying for years, including their colleagues in the Police Force who have a far harder job.

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    DaveG

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Norfolk John

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Isn't jealously a horrible trait?

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    Vic Sponge

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • Sportswagon where do you get the "we salute you" from ?That is your and only your opinion.These men are very fortunate that they get a super pension and can go to work on a nightshift and get their heads down on pay! Icertainly know if my boss caught anyone on nightshift even 5 minutes late from teabreak we would be getting a severe warning. These so called hard done by firemen nearly all have a sideline I.E.window cleaning round ,drivers,painting decorating ,buisnesses.Dont say that they have to subsidise their wages either .They can get away with doing these sidelines TAX FREE due to their shift patterns and time off .I CERTAINLY DO NOT GIVE THEM MY SUPPORT.LOVE TO GET A PENSION AT ANY AGE !!!!!!!!! ALONG WITH A STATE PENSION.I know of men going offshore working right up to retirement age because they have to !

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    yarco

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

  • It is very sad that they are forced into this position and that doctrinal idiots such as Brendan Lewis are the Government's only answer. Doubtless there will be the usual get a real job, cushy pension, jealous comments on here but 'firefighters we salute you'!!

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    Sportswagon

    Sunday, July 13, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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