Notts, Derbyshire & South Yorkshire: Stand-in fire crews tackle strike emergencies

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Stand-in fire crews dealt with 18 incidents across Notts during a 12 hour strike yesterday (Saturday).

They included three grass fires, a bin fire, a car fire and a building fire in Bulwell.

Across the border in South Yorkshire, 11 emergency calls were attended.

One of the most serious was a car crash on Bawtry Road at Wickersley at 5.18pm.

Seven people were taken to hospital by helicopter and ambulance after being cut free from the wreckage.

Other call-outs included a cooker fire in Rawmarsh, a garden fire in Deepcar and three fires in woodland.

There were two vehicle fires. One, at 6.18pm, was a Landrover Discovery on fire on the A1(M) northbound between junctions 35 and 36.

The other was at 8.20pm on the M1 northbound between junctions 35 and 36 where a car was on fire.

And contingency crews in Derbyshire dealt with five incidents during yesterday’s strike - one road collision, one fire in the open, an incident where ambulance crews needed assistance, a bin fire, and house fire.

Today (Sunday 4th May) there will be a third day of industrial action between 10am and 3pm.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union will walk out in a long-running row over pensions.

Services across Notts, Derbyshire and South Yorkshire will be affected and staff at our nearest stations, including Worksop, Retford, Clowne, Maltby and Aston, are expected to take part.

Most fire regional services said they would provide a basic level of firefighting cover during the strike periods.

But they warned that the 999 response service will be severely depleted.

South Yorkshire’s chief fire officer James Courtney said: “We’re mindful that quite a few people will be using the long weekend as a chance to celebrate, but if you do go out drinking, don’t attempt to cook when you get home - buy a takeaway instead.”

“Our emergency response service will be significantly reduced during the strike period, so the best way to stay protected is to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home.”

“If you do discover a fire don’t attempt to tackle it yourself- get out, stay out and still call 999.”

Notts Fire and Rescue chief fire officer John Buckley said: “The service will respond to incidents with trained firefighters using recognised fire and rescue equipment.”

“But, with the level of operational cover significantly lower than usual, it may take longer for crews to get there.”

“People should be particularly careful when travelling on our roads, which can be extremely busy at this time of year.”

Mr Buckley said people could also help by only dialling 999 in a genuine emergency.

Derbyshire’s acting assistant chief fire officer Kam Basi explained: “A non-emergency call could be to someone who is locked outside their house, or where someone is stuck in a lift. There are other agencies and organisations that can help in this instance.”

“Whilst the industrial action is on-going, we will still be responding to 999 calls. However we are asking people to only call 999 if they really do need a fire engine.”

“Our priority during times of industrial action is to respond to those priority calls where a life may be at risk or someone needs to be rescued. If we respond to non-emergency calls then those most in need of our help could be at risk.”