VIDEO: Lincolnshire Firefighters strike over pensions
Between 100 and 150 Lincolnshire firefighters have been involved in their four hour strike over pensions.
Fire Brigades Union members from all six full time stations, including Lincoln North and South, will be out until 4pm.
Passing motorists are sounding their horns in support of the national strike, which almost 80 per cent of FBU members voted in favour in a ballot.
Non-striking staff are provided fire cover during the industrial action and the FBU in Lincolnshire has agreed to cease today's strike in the event of a major incident.
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Union officials left the strike to the last possible moment to allow for the possibility of a negotiated settlement, which did not materialise.
The Government wants to raise the normal retirement age from 55 to 60 for all firefighters.
But the union fears mass sackings as firefighters fail fitness tests as they get older and lose some of their pension.
Members say they wish to protect the professional service taxpayers pay for and receive a fair pension upon retirement.
Chris Hides, FBU Lincolnshire Brigade chairman, said: "We threw the kitchen sink at the Government to try to resolve this but on July 12 they said no more negotiations.
“We have no option but to strike. Today’s action is a short, sharp action to say to the Government that we can mobilise firefighters to strike, but we want to get back around the table, which is what’s happened in Scotland and why they are not on strike up there.
“I think the public are behind us. While they maybe don’t know the ins and out of the pension situation, they don’t want someone who’s 57 or 58 turning up at their home at 3am and expected them to rescue their family.”
Lincolnshire Fire & Rescue spokesman Becky Allen said:
“So far Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue has responded to three incidents during the strike period: one co-responder in the Spilsby area, one road traffic collision at Long Sutton and one domestic fire in Sleaford.
"All incidents have been dealt with in the normal timeframe and to the same high standard as normal.
"We would continue to remind people to take care when going about their daily business, and that there is further safety advice available on www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/lfr and on twitter @lincsfirerescue."