Firefighters will strike over Christmas and the New Year

The Fire Brigades Union has announced three further periods of strike action over its national dispute with central Government over pensions.

Union members will hold strike action on Christmas Eve from 7pm until midnight, New Years Eve from 6.30pm until 12.30am and Friday January 3 from 6.30am until 8.30am.

As with previous industrial action, West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service will still be responding to 999 calls and providing an emergency response across the county, but will have fewer resources available. The Service will be utilizing non-FBU members including retained duty system firefighters and operational officers to crew fire engines.

Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex, Sean Ruth, said: “The announcement of further strike dates is disappointing; we hope that talks will continue between the Government and the Union and that this industrial action can be averted.

“During previous strike periods people in West Sussex have responded well to safety advice and helped reduce the risk of a 999 emergency. We are, once again, asking everyone to take extra care.

“Over the festive period people spend more time at home so we’re reminding everyone to take those simple steps to help stay safe. First and foremost, every home should have a working smoke alarm.

“We’d also urge people to take extra care with festive decorations like candles and ensure that Christmas lights are switched off before leaving the house.

“If you are out on the roads please don’t take unnecessary risks. If you are drinking, please don’t be tempted to be get behind the wheel; get a lift from a designated driver, catch a bus or book a taxi.”

Further advice on how to stay safe over the festive period is available at and regular safety tips will be issued in the lead up and during strike action through social media on and Twitter @WestSussexFire #takeextracare