Surrey ready to deal with fire service industrial action, says county council (From Redhill And Reigate Life)
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Surrey ready to deal with fire service industrial action, says county council
7:00am Saturday 21st September 2013 in Local News
Surrey is ready to deal with any industrial action launched by the Fire Brigades Union.
That was the message from Surrey County Council this week as it highlighted its contract with a specialist rescue firm.
The council said that during any strike action, world-renowned Specialist Group International (SGI) will work alongside front-line firefighters who choose not to strike, and on-call firefighters, to crew Surrey’s state-of-the-art fire engines.
The council stated that the Dorking-based firm will provide crews who have all completed the full 17-week firefighters training course.
The course includes fighting a range of fires, wearing breathing apparatus and using specialist equipment to deal with car accidents.
Surrey County Council’s cabinet associate for fire and police services, Kay Hammond, said: “We’ve planned long and hard for times like these, and we’ve invested in Surrey’s safety through our deal with Specialist Group International. “That investment is now proving its worth.”
Coun Hammond continued: “We’re ready to provide cover during this dispute between the FBU and Government, but we will also be looking to residents and businesses to take extra care during this time.”
Peter Faulding, SGI’s chief executive, said “The SGI team are ready to stand in and protect the residents of Surrey during this industrial action.”
Although SGI and a number of Surrey firefighters will be working around the clock, there will be fewer fire crews available than normal. Therefore, the service is asking residents and businesses to take extra care during any industrial action and to check smoke detectors and emergency equipment.
As well as providing cover during industrial action, SGI are also providing specialist rescue to Surrey, and are on standby throughout the year to support the fire service with an arsenal of cutting edge equipment and a wealth of expertise.
Its equipment and expertise includes a helicopter to provide intelligence during major incidents, the UK's first specialist dive team, a fleet of inflatable boats for use in water rescues and during floods, and hi-tech scan sonar and camera equipment for finding missing persons.
SGI also has a fleet of 4×4 vehicles for remote area search and rescue, world-leading expertise in confined space and collapsed structure rescue, and a specialist rope rescue team for cliff, mast and tower crane rescue.