THE fire service in Hereford and Worcester will be going on strike from noon today.

Strike action is set to take place across the weekend in three stages as the Fire Brigades Union continues to clash with the government in a row over pensions.

Plans to increase the retirement age from 55 to 60 and increase pension contributions have led to a number of strikes since September.

These latest strikes will take place today from noon until 5pm, again on Saturday between 2pm and 2am on Sunday and then from 10am until 3pm on Sunday.

Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service has put in place a detailed Business Continuity Plan to deal with these periods of industrial action should they all go ahead.

This reduced fire cover is likely to provide limited coverage and, therefore, the service will prioritise the most urgent calls ahead of other responses.

A statement from the service online reads: "We would remind businesses to familiarise themselves with their own emergency plans and ensure their fire safety procedures are brought to the attention of all staff, as required under existing legislation.

"Our advice to householders is to make themselves familiar with the service's simple safety messages on what to do in the event of fire.

"In an emergency situation businesses and residents should still call 999 during periods of industrial action and we will mobilise available resources as necessary. However, for situations that are not of an emergency nature, we would ask that the public consider other arrangements.

"We would ask that the public work together with us in this way so that we can all be confident that our local Communities are as safe as possible during any periods of Industrial Action."