Firefighters to strike

By a County Press reporter

Thursday, December 12, 2013


FIREFIGHTERS will strike again on the Isle of Wight as a national pensions dispute continued.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) are to strike between 6pm and 10pm tomorrow (Friday) and on Saturday.

Non-FBU members will provide cover for serious incidents and fire control will not be affected, meaning residents should continue to use 999 in an emergency.

A spokesman said: "Householders and businesses are advised not to take unnecessary risks during periods of strike action and make preparations to reduce their chances of needing assistance from the fire and rescue service.

"This includes taking extra care when cooking or smoking, checking that smoke alarms are working and knowing what to do in an event of a fire and sharing this knowledge with others."

Steve Apter, chief fire officer, said: "We are in the festive period and it is natural more people will be celebrating this time of year, such as Christmas parties or family get togethers.

"I would therefore like to reiterate the advice that members of the public and businesses should be extra vigilant during the planned period of strike action by checking fire safety arrangements and not taking unnecessary risks."

Information about the Isle of Wight’s fire and rescue service along with fire safety advice for homes and businesses can be found at


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Displaying the last 10 of 23 comments - Show All Comments

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by Peter Lewis

17th December 2013, at 00:19:00

I think they are getting most fed up with the goal posts getting moved . I know a fireman or two and support them in this action. If they are doing such a simple and easy job I am sure some of their detractors would fill in while they are skiving. People need to stop using the argument that there are other public servants being shafted so why not them. Many MPs on that list ? They choose the job after all. Oh this "we didn't choose our 11% pay rise" rubbish is just not cutting it with me. As for the super generous pension you need to have served a considerable time before that one pays so well, if not the contributions are a lot higher than many think (unaffordable for many). I think the majority of the people I know are just plain sick of the "little man" getting kicked. To paraphrase George Orwell "we are all in this equally, it's just some of us are more in "it" equally than others. "

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by neil jacks

14th December 2013, at 22:00:26

"Outrageous".. can you qualify that then david or is this just your opinion?

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by David Shoulder

14th December 2013, at 19:08:10

@NJ I an not being deliberately provocative but you have Health and Safety rules too. What about the police officer or the army corporal facing the unknown. What about the nurse being used and abused trying to do a caring job. The fire service is not the special case they think they are. The fact is the fire service have historically retired too early. Overall pension benefits are outrageous in relation to officers contribution and the norms in the private and even the public sector. Sorry but the truth hurts.

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by neil jacks

14th December 2013, at 17:24:16

It appears you are wrong about public support David. I think the FBU have a strong case and whilst I do not condone strike action, I wonder who else will stand up for the firefighters. Your comment about them not being on the front line all the time is offensive to the men and women, who, should your home catch fire, would enter that burning home to facilitate a rescue... Who is on the front line all the time?

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by David Shoulder

14th December 2013, at 14:02:21

@MT who will pay. We can no longer afford flab and indulgence in the public sector. Cuts have to be made. You are right cuts can go too far too quickly but at the same time efficiencies have been and can be gained from working smarter and reviewing old standing practices. There is little or no public sympathy with the FB position on pensions and conditions. After all it is not as if they are all on the front line all of the time.

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by Mat Thomas

14th December 2013, at 13:07:00

The Firefighters, like many other sections of the working class, are in the same boat. Many of the essential services and social programmes are threatened. Health, Education, Post Office services, Transport, Council run services, Utilities and energy are all necessities that are under threat. Most have moved out of the Public into the Private Sector as a “solution” but the new arrangements are not so good. The very maintenance and effective continuation or smooth running of these functions is so precarious that many are hitting problems of sustainability. Each area is in danger of hitting its own specific crisis.

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by neil jacks

14th December 2013, at 13:03:59

Then paul, your comments surprise me. You know yourself what I mean when I say physical and mental attributes that usually leave the average person in the early to mid fifties, if not sooner unfortunately.

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by neil jacks

14th December 2013, at 12:22:01

You make it sound so wonderful but fail to mention some of the shortcomings of the job.
Below average pay for a job that requires a considerable amount of training, dedication, courage and team work. A little different from a warehouse or a shop job, not that there is anything wrong with those jobs but I assume that's where your 15k figure came from. The pension scheme is a good one for firemen but they do pay a high percentage of their wage into the scheme to maintain it. The reason the working life of a firefighter is somewhat shorter than that of a, for example shop worker, is that certain physical and mental attributes are required to be able to do the job effectively. Those attributes are very difficult to maintain into the sixties. I hope this explains a few minor details..

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by Paul Cox

14th December 2013, at 10:05:46

Neil Jacks - I guess like a lot of people I did when I was a lad. However I ended up working as a trauma medic instead.

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by neil jacks

14th December 2013, at 09:56:59

Paul cox, have you ever considered being a firefighter?

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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