Strike - Frequently Asked Questions

Avon fire strike FAQ

Here is a list of questions that we hope will answer most of your concerns.

Background information

Why have firefighters voted to take strike action?

The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has registered a national trade dispute regarding proposed changes to pensions. Members of the Union voted in favour or taking strike action over the issue.

This is a national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government.How can I keep up to date with news and information about the strike?

Regular updates on the strike will be available on the news section of this website. You can also receive updates via our social media channels - Find us on Facebook or Follow us on Twitter @AvonFireRescue.

During a strike

Click on the questions below to reveal the answers

If I call 999 in an emergency will a fire engine still come?

Yes, however during the strike our priority will be to attend emergencies where lives are at risk so you may need to wait longer for a fire engine to arrive. There are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risk of fire in your home. Get some great tips from the safety section of this website.

Will I still be able to book a Home Fire Safety Visit?

We will still accept bookings for Home Fire Safety Visits however they will not be carried out during the period of industrial action. This will allow us to concentrate our resources on providing an emergency response to incidents.

How can I keep myself and my family fire safe?

There are a couple of simple steps you can take that will reduce the risk of a fire starting, or limit its impact if a fire does start.

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and that you regularly check the batteries are working. A smoke alarm will provide an early warning of a fire allowing you and your loved ones to escape, but only if the batteries are working.
  • More than half of all the fires attended by AF&RS start in the kitchen. Never leave cooking unattended.
  • Plan and practice your escape route so that in the event of a fire in your home everyone knows how to get out safely.

For even more information click here to visit our safety section.

How can I keep up to date with news and information about the strike?

Regular updates on the strike will be available in the news section of this website. You can also get updates via our social media channels

How can I keep my business fire safe?

Owners and managers of businesses have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their staff and customers. Visit the business safety pages for details of you obligations.

Why are firefighters on strike?

The Fire Brigades’ Union (FBU) has registered a national trade dispute regarding proposed changes to pensions. In August members of the Union voted in favour or taking strike action over the issue.

This is a national dispute between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government.

Is Avon Fire & Rescue Service the only fire service on strike?

This is a national dispute, so members of the Fire Brigades Union are taking industrial action all over the country. This will mean that all fire and rescue services are disrupted during the strike period.

Will the time it takes for a fire engines to get to me in an emergency increase?

During the period of industrial action we will have significantly reduced resources and we won’t be operating from our normal fire stations. As a result we don’t expect to be able to meet the normal response standards we set ourselves.

Is the fire service going to use Green Goddesses or outside agencies to staff the fire engines like during the strike in 2002?

No. During the strikes in 2002 the Army used ‘Green Goddess’ fire engines to provide emergency fire cover. However, shortly after the industrial action the vehicles were decommissioned and are no longer available. Avon Fire & Rescue Service has asked for military support to provide cover during the strike but this will not be provided by the Government. We will therefore be using our own resources to provide a limited service.

Will the strike affect any other services that AF&RS provides?

All community safety, station visits, training and non-essential activities will cease during the period of strike action to enable staff not on strike to provide emergency fire cover.

Are all firefighters on strike?

Only firefighters who are members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will be on strike. Fire Control staff will not be on strike. Industrial action will not involve non-FBU firefighters or members of support staff.

How long after the strike until normal service is resumed?

As soon as the strike is over our normal emergency response service will resume. Firefighters will return to work and the number of fire engines available to respond to emergencies will return to normal.

Do firefighters get paid while they are on strike?

No. Firefighters who support the strike will not be paid for the hours lost.

When I call 999, will I still get through to Avon Fire & Rescue Service Fire Control?

Yes. AF&RS Control Operators will be working throughout the strike to answer all 999 calls we receive. They are not part of the dispute.

If I want to support or oppose the strike, who do I contact?

The dispute is between the Fire Brigades Union and the Government – the dispute it not with Avon Fire & Rescue Service. If you wish to support or oppose the strike you should make representation to the FBU or the Government, not Avon Fire & Rescue Service.