London Fire Brigade

End of eight hour strike

23 October 2010

The London Fire Brigade can report that despite repeated incidents of harassment, intimidation and violence against emergency fire crews the plan to provide a contingency fire and rescue service in the capital during the eight hour FBU strike today has been successful.

All 162 ‘contracted’ firefighters were deployed by 9.00 a.m. and 27 fire engines have throughout the day responded to 49 incidents including several fires in residential buildings all of which were successfully dealt with.

During the day  fire crews:-

  • experienced a hit and run with three motorbikes on one fire engine that has left the vehicle damaged.
  • were followed and threatened on all 27 fire engines deployed across the capital.
  • faced barricades across at least one station entrance preventing fire engines from getting in and out.

London Fire Commissioner Ron Dobson said:

“I would rather the FBU had not orchestrated today’s strike, but the contract,  which was of course never designed to fully replicate the service delivered to London, has delivered.

“The most disappointing aspect of the day has been that the people responding to calls, because of this strike, have had to suffer abuse, violence and harassment as they tried to access fire stations or attend incidents.

“Despite the mindless actions which posed a real danger to Londoners, the emergency fire crew delivered the plans to keep the capital safe. However, Londoners should never have been put at risk by the actions of a minority of individuals hell-bent on causing disruption.” 

Several incidents were reported to the police, and the Brigade will be reviewing how further strike dates can be managed.