Incidents during first 10 hours of firefighter strike

During the first 10 hours of national industrial action, taken by the Fire Brigades Union, we have experienced a day largely characterised by calls triggered by automatic fire alarms.

However, the first incident attended during strike by our contingency crews was a road traffic collision on the M1 southbound which resulted in one woman being taken to hospital and caused extensive tailbacks during the morning rush-hour.

Between 0700 hrs today and 1700 hrs contingency crews attended 25 incidents. No incidents that would usually require an attendance went unattended.

In total 11 of the incidents were automatic fire alarms (AFAs) and many of these were false alarms, often down to cooking fumes setting off alarm systems, systems not being maintained correctly or being accidentally actuated.  

We have had around half of our usual fleet of fire engines available. This has ranged between 24 and 27 engines depending on the time of day. Half of these have been crewed by fully qualified firefighters whilst the other half by Community Response Operatives (CRO), under the supervision of a senior officer.

CROS have been specially recruited by the service for this purpose and have undergone appropriate training. While they are well-trained they cannot carry out all of the tasks of a fully qualified firefighter. In addition to this cover has been provided by around a dozen fire officers in cars.

Summary of all incidents attended between 0700 hrs and 1700 hrs on February 25:

07.45 hrs Junction 46-45 of the M1 southbound, Ford Focus car on roof. Suspected minor injuries sustained by the driver, a woman in 30s, who was placed on a spinal board as a precaution by Yorkshire Ambulance Service before being transported to hospital.   Fire crews assisted with first aid and made the scene safe. A Mini vehicle was also involved in the incident, however, the driver was unharmed. Neither of the cars had passengers. Two lanes of the M1 southbound were blocked and one lane was left open by police. The incident caused extensive tailbacks. One fire appliance was in attendance for around 40 minutes.

07.56 hrs Midland Street, Oulton, automatic fire alarm turned out to be false alarm good intent.

10:50 hrs Dalton Terrace, Keighley, false alarm good intent, faulty boiler giving off smell.

11.03 hrs Featherstone High School, automatic fire alarm, turned out to be false alarm good intent.

11.21 hrs Sherburn Court, Sherburn, automatic fire alarm, turned out to be false alarm good intent. 

12.22 hrs Portobello Road, Wakefield, automatic fire alarm, turned out to be false alarm good intent due to burned toast setting off alarm.

12.27 hrs Pinderfields Hospital, Wakefield, automatic fire alarm, turned out to be false alarm good intent.

12.38 hrs Ings Walk, South Kirkby, automatic fire alarm caused by overheated cooker, crews ventilated area.

12.54 hrs Glebe Gate, Thornhill, Dewsbury, assisted female pensioner who had fallen and become trapped.

13.04 hrs Prince Street, Bradford, rubbish fire in open.

13.10 hrs Garton View, Burmantofts, automatic fire alarm caused by fault on system.

13.42 hrs Parkfield Rd, Bradford, automatic fire alarm turned out to be false alarm good intent.

14.37 hrs Low Fields Way, Holbeck, Leeds, rubbish on fire in underpass in Lowfields Road area.

14.54 hrs Cherry Nook Rd, Deighton, Huddersfield, fire out on arrival caused by burned toast.

15.23 hrs Gloucester Avenue, Bradford, small car fire.

15.35 hrs Halton Moor Rd, Halton, Leeds, fire in open.

1546 hrs Leeds Central Library, automatic fire alarm, false alarm good intent, accidental actuation.

15.48 hrs City Road, Bradford, thick black smoke turned out to be controlled burning.

16.01 hrs Dewsbury District Hospital, automatic fire alarm, accidental actuation.

16.17 hrs Park Road, Ravensthorpe, Dewsbury, grass fire in open.

16.23 hrs Morrisons Supermarket, Merrion Centre, Leeds, bin fire out on arrival outside.

16.34 hrs Fearnville Drive, Bradford, automatic fire alarm, five storey multi-occupancy residential building, automatic fire alarm, false alarm good intent due to fumes from cooking.

16.44 hrs National Road, Hunslet, Leeds, skip fire.

16.56 hrs Brewery Street, Keighley, controlled burning in garage.

17.00 hrs Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, grass fire.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Steve Beckley said: “It has been a steady period during strike so far and fortunately we have had no life-threatening incidents.

“We ask the public to remain vigilant throughout tonight if they are going to be on the roads and take that extra bit of care when cooking as a lot of fires in the home start in the kitchen.

“We have experienced many false alarms throughout today and we appeal to people to be on guard to prevent these call-outs, especially during periods of strike when our resources are limited.”