With the Games just months away the London Fire Brigade has moved to ensure they are sufficiently staffed in light of potential industrial action.

Speaking at the London Assembly yesterday [Feb 8] LFB Operational Director Gary Reason indicated the Service is contacting firefighters who'd indicated they would work this summer despite a breakdown in negotiations with the Fire Brigades' Union.

He said: "We took the decision to write to over 300 firefighters individually who have already registered an interest in this to let them see the detail of the contract.

"In addition to that we had lots of enquiries from firefighters who didn't originally show an interest so have now written to all other firefighters to offer them the same opportunity."

Reason was asked by Health and Public Services Committee deputy chair Navin Shah whether there was a risk of the LFB being understaffed during a period of "extraordinary demand", but the Director remains confident his Service, along with others, will be ready.

An FBU spokesman suggested the Union were disappointed that the Brigade were offering firefighters were being offered secondary contracts but acknowledged the need for extra coverage during a summer that will also include the Queen's Jubilee.

In addition to offering an estimated £3,000 to firefighters working up to 12 extra shifts during the Olympics, Reason said retired firefighters had been contacted along with those on mutual aid programmes.

"Even if we can't secure dedicated Olympic Park firefighters, we are confident we will have 169 front-line fire engines, other specialist resources and officers that London enjoys every day of the year," Reason concluded.

Visit www.policingtoday.co.uk and www.ambulancenews.com for more coverage on the other Services preparations for the Olympics

Posted 09/03/2012 by richard.hook@pavpub.com