FIREFIGHTERS are gearing up for their busiest night of the year after returning to work following strike action.
Officers who are part of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) staged a two-hour walkout yesterday, from 6am to 8am, as part of a row with the Government over pensions and the retirement age.
They are expected to be out in force during the coming hours for Bonfire Night.
It was the third time in the past six weeks that firefighters have withdrawn their labour as part of the dispute, after members of the union also took to the picket line on Friday evening.
During yesterday’s two-hour strike, officers from Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service were called out four times, one of which was to deal with an automatic false alarm at Washington Town Centre Library.
Bosses admitted the service would not be “business as usual”, but said the action had passed without any major problems across the brigade area.
Chief fire officer Tom Capeling said: “Over the last few weeks the Service has been encouraging the public and business owners to take extra care with fire safety during the period of strike action.
“During the strike period, we received four calls and our emergency crews attended four incidents. I would like to thank the public for their support in taking on board the safety messages we have been putting out.”
The Service has been issuing advice ahead of tonight’s celebrations.
Officers are urging families to only attend organised bonfire and firework displays.
They also say parents should know where there children are at all times.