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Sussex residents warned to take care during Wednesday's fire service strike
Residents have been warned to take extra care as firefighters prepare to go on strike this week.
A national walk-out will take place on Wednesday between 12-4pm over proposed changes to firefighters’ pensions.
In East Sussex letters have been sent to more than 17,000 businesses warning them to ensure fire safety measures are in place.
Meanwhile West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service has been putting “robust contingency plans” in place to minimise the impact of strike action.
The service will use Retained Duty System (RDS) firefighters and other trained non-Fire Brigades Union personnel.
Sean Ruth, chief fire officer for West Sussex, said: "The safety of the public and our staff is always our priority and I want to reassure people we will still provide a response to emergencies during this industrial action.
“Naturally we had all hoped strike action could be avoided. If the strike goes ahead it will certainly be a challenging time, but if it does then I am confident emergency fire and rescue services can be maintained in West Sussex through a combination of retained firefighters, officers, and non-FBU personnel.
“Obviously, we still hope negotiations between the government and the FBU will continue and this dispute can still be resolved.
“However, as an emergency service we have a statutory duty to prepare contingency plans for staff shortages regardless of whether they are caused through industrial action, extreme weather, or pandemic flu etc. We’ve taken steps to prepare and we'd urge the public to do the same.”
Residents have been asked to check they have a working smoke alarm, not leave cooking unattended, and extinguish cigarettes properly.
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