West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is bracing for possible industrial action following the announcement that firefighters have voted in favour of a national strike.
The results of the Fire Brigade Union’s (FBU) ballot of members were announced on Thursday (August 29) with 78 per cent of those who voted, voting in favour of strike action.
The FBU have yet to make an announcement about the date or length of any possible industrial action.
Throughout this on-going dispute over pensions the fire service has been contingency planning to ensure that should a strike go ahead the impact on the safety of people in West Sussex would be kept to a minimum.
Chief fire officer Sean Ruth said: “This is a national dispute and at this stage we are still hopeful that the Government and the FBU can resolve it through negotiation and prevent any industrial action.
“However, I can reassure the public that over the past number of weeks we’ve been formulating robust plans to minimise the impact of any strike action on the people living and working in West Sussex.”
West Sussex County Council’s cabinet member for resident services, Lionel Barnard, added: “The safety of people in West Sussex is our priority.
“While we hope that both sides can reach a resolution and industrial action is avoided, I would encourage people to take extra care ensuring their homes and businesses are as safe as possible.
“Comprehensive fire and road safety advice is available through our fire and rescue service, either online www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or by calling 01243 642879.”