cfoaAfter the FBU's announcement of a new 24-hour strike, CFOA is strongly urging both sides in the dispute to bring an end to industrial action, declaring that "strike action is not the way to resolve this dispute".

Firefighters in England are to stage a 24-hour strike on 9 December as part of their long-running pensions row with the government.

It is the 48th period of industrial action by members of the Fire Brigades Union since the dispute began in 2013.

CFOA President Peter Dartford said: "We cannot support any action that places the public at greater risk. Chief Fire Officers are legally bound to ensure that there are contingency arrangements in place at all times, and we commend the work of those who have worked to ensure public safety during strike periods.

"While these arrangements have worked so far, they are no substitute for our full strength fire and rescue provision. We are keen to continue to work with all key stakeholders to find practical ways to ensure the ongoing health and fitness of firefighters."

The FBU says the walkouts stem from proposals to have firefighters work until they are 60 instead of 55 and fears over lower pensions.

The government has said its contingency plans are "robust" and that ministers did make "progress" on issues of concern to firefighters and put forward a revised offer.

CFOA has encouraged members of the public to take extra care during strike action, at home, at work or on the road. In the event of an emergency, people should still call 999, as a response will be sent to all genuine emergencies. However, response times may be slower and fire and rescue services will not be responding to some non-emergency calls while local services' Twitter feeds will provide more information.

To read more about the FBU protest at the opening of the West Norwood fire station by Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt subscribe to FIRE at