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Hampshire firefighters back on duty following strikes
FIREFIGHTERS in Hampshire returned to work today after staging strikes last night.
Crews walked out between 7pm and midnight as part of nationwide industrial action across England and Wales over a row about pensions.
The demonstration meant just 40 appliances were available to respond to emergencies across the county – around half the usual number – and less operational staff were based at stations.
But it was a relatively peaceful night and fire chiefs stressed crews were able to respond within their 20 minute target times for call outs.
The next strike is set for between 6.30pm and 12.30am on New Year’s Eve and 6.30am and 8.30am on Friday, January 3.
Assistant Chief Officer Neil Odin thanked residents and local businesses for taking extra care during last night’s strikes and said: “We would ask people to continue not to take any unnecessary risks over the remainder of the festive period.
“Again on New Years’ Eve there will be fewer firefighters and vehicles available to us. We will still respond, but if we have to come from further away it may take longer than usual.
“So if you’re drinking, please don’t think about driving, grab a cab, and keep an eye on your cooking as well as making sure all Christmas lights are switched off and candles fully extinguished before you go to bed.”
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