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UK firefighters to set up picket lines outside fire stations

Coventry firefighters to set up picket lines outside stations – Coventry Telegraph.

Coventry firefighters in action

Picket lines will be mounted outside fire stations across Coventry and Warwickshire tomorrow as a four-hour national strike takes place.

Almost 80 per cent of the Fire Brigades Union’s members voted in favour of the strike, leaving authorities scrambling to find staff to man fire engines.

The walkout is in opposition to plans to increase firefighters’ retirement age to 60.

Union chiefs and firefighters claim the plans will put the public at risk – and that older workers face losing their jobs if they fail fitness tests.

The FBU have said that current government proposals would see firefighters who retire or are forced out of work at 55 losing about 50 per cent of their pensions.

Nick Harrison, 44, a firefighter at Coventry’s Radford Road Fire Station, will be joining the strike.

He said: “Studies have shown that the majority of people doing the physical job of a firefighter at 60 are not as capable as they were at 22 years old. It’s even worse for women, particularly post-menopausal women. Medical evidence has shown that at just 42 years old, they begin to get weaker and weaker.

About Darin Sullivan (1967 Articles)
President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union and a professional firefighter with more than 25 years’ experience. Father of two daughters, he lives and works on the NSW South Coast, Australia. He is a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around him. He is a Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and works with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist he has long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. Now a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and has decades of experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. He is passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. Darin is also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.

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