Fire alerts covered during strike

STRIKE action by members of the Fire Brigades’ Union between 7pm and midnight on Christmas eve saw Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service attend six incidents.

These were five false alarms – in Little Bedwyn, Warminster, Trowbridge and two in Swindon - and a road traffic collision in Shaw, near Melksham.

The Little Bedwyn incident was covered by a crew from Marlborough, while a crew from Westbury responded to the incident in Warminster, and the resilience appliance operating in Melksham attended the Trowbridge incident. The two false alarms in Swindon were dealt with by the resilience appliance operating in the town.

The road traffic collision in Shaw involved a single car crashing into a building and resulted in on the driver being trapped within the vehicle. This incident was dealt with by the Melksham resilience appliance and an appliance from Corsham. This response reflects the normal attendance for an incident of this nature in that area.

Prior to the start of industrial action crews from Trowbridge attended an incident in Holt involving a car which had gone into a ditch. Two people were rescued from the flood water and conveyed to hospital. The attending crews worked through the start of the strike period to bring the incident to a successful conclusion.

Crews at ten of Wiltshire’s 24 fire stations were unavailable to respond to incidents during the strike, but the service had contingency plans in place to maintain cover across the county using on-call firefighters and alternative locations as appropriate. As a result, there were 11 appliances available with a further six on call.

As of the start of Christmas Day, all striking crews returned to duty. Further industrial action is planned between 6.30pm and 12.30am on New Year’s Eve and then from 6.30am to 8.30am on Friday, January 3.

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