Engines Moved For Fire Strike Vote

The biggest fire brigade in the country has removed 27 fire engines from its stations as part of contingency plans to prepare for a possible firefighters' strike.

London Fire Brigade, which has 169 engines, said if there is a strike the 27 engines would be deployed at strategic locations across the capital to provide fire cover.

The engines would be staffed by private security firm Securitas.

The Fire Brigades Union is balloting its members across the country for industrial action in a row with the Government over pensions.

London fire commissioner Ron Dobson said:

"This dispute is between the FBU and Government, but as the national strike may involve London we have a legal responsibility to prepare for the possibility of strike action in September.

"This is not a decision I have taken lightly and I am not presuming the ballot will result in a yes vote, but I need to ensure contingency plans are in place, which is why I've arranged for the temporary removal of 27 fire engines."

The dispute is separate from a row in the capital over plans to close 10 stations, reduce the number of fire engines by 14 and cut more than 500 firefighters' jobs.

In the event of a strike in London, the 27 engines would attend a limited number of incidents, including basic firefighting and some rescue work.