THE public has been warned to be extra vigilant during the firefighters' strike.
Isle of Wight firefighters will join their national colleagues and strike in a row over pensions.
The Fire Brigades' Union (FBU) this week confirmed its members in England and Wales will strike for four hours on Wednesday, September 25.
The Isle of Wight Council said contingency plans were in place to respond to serious incidents, such as house fires and road traffic accidents, but has warned people to take extra care during the strike.
The strike was called after the union failed to reach an agreement with the government on pension reforms. It has called for firefighters who are forced to retire early if they fail to meet fitness standards, where other roles cannot be found for them, to be paid a full pension.
FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "This initial strike is a warning shot to government. Firefighters could not be more serious about protecting public safety and ensuring fair pensions."
The walk-out is set to take place between noon and 4pm after 78 per cent of FBU members voted in favour of industrial action.
Cover will be maintained by non-FBU members, who will work with the other emergency services and partner agencies, and priority will be given to calls where lives are at risk.
The council has warned in some cases, such as animal rescues or people trapped in lifts, resources may not be available.
Council cabinet member for public protection, Cllr Phil Jordan, said: "Unfortunately, this is a national strike and there is nothing we can do locally to prevent it going ahead. While I hope the government and the FBU negotiate a satisfactory agreement so strike action can be avoided, I would like to reassure residents we have robust and up to date contingency plans in place to ensure life critical incidents are responded to by fully trained fire and rescue service officers."
Chief fire officer Steve Apter said: "I would ask members of the public and businesses to be extra vigilant during the strike action by checking fire safety arrangements and not taking unnecessary risks."