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Borehamwood Fire Station in Elstree Way closes due to strike
Borehamwood firefighters are joining a national walkout in a row over pensions this afternoon.
The fire station in Elstree Way will be closed from 12pm until 4pm as firefighters from across Hertfordshire march through the streets of Watford, St Albans and Stevenage.
Organised by the Fire Brigade Union, the strike is a response to Government proposals to force firefighters to work longer hours, make larger contributions to their pensions and retire at 60.
Hertfordshire Fire Brigade Union secretary, Tony Smith, said: "It is a sad day for all firefighters when the only option left to us is to take strike action, but unfortunately, after almost two years, we have exhausted every other possible avenue.
"Every week many of the county’s fire engines are without crews, fire stations continue to close, pay has been frozen and now pensions that were signed up to in good faith are being torn up by politicians who enjoy pay rises, expenses and gold plated retirements."
He added: "To expect firefighters to be rescuing people from fires and car accidents at the age of 60 does not make any sense.
"All we are asking for is for politicians to come to the negotiating table and to sort out this mess that they have caused by pressing on with these ridiculous proposals."
Hertfordshire County Council is warning members of the public to take extra care while the strike is in operation.
It advises residents to check their smoke alarms are working, avoid lighting candles or bonfires, unplug electricals when not in use and not to leave cigarettes or pans unattended.
The council also instructs drivers and pedestrians to be extra vigilant and avoid taking risks when driving or when crossing the roads.
Councillor Richard Thake, who is responsible for community safety and planning, said: “It is important that people are vigilant and take extra care during the Fire Brigades Union strike.
“Although there will be fewer resources, we have planned for this and will be responding as quickly as possible to serious incidents.
"In the event of a fire you should still get out, stay out and call 999 – you will get an emergency response.”
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