THE latest strike by firefighters in Worcestershire has been a success, with plenty of public support, says a union spokesman.

Members of the fire brigade union went on strike yesterday (Friday) between noon and 5pm as part of the latest round of industrial action over pensions. They will strike again between 2pm today and 2am tomorrow, and again between 10am and 3pm tomorrow.

Steve Gould of the Fire Brigades Union said: "I've been on the picket line in front of the fire stations at Worcester, Evesham and Malvern, and the public are showing us plenty of support. Drivers have been beeping their horns and pedestrians saying they're behind us.

"They don't want firemen forced to work until they're 60 and have to deal with fires at that age."

A spokesman for Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service said there were no major incidents while the strike was on yesterday.

But the brigade is reminding resident to be vigilant during the weekend's industrial action.

Area commander Keith Chance said: “While the industrial action is on-going we will still be responding to 999 calls, but we will be asking members of the public to take extra steps to reduce the risk of a fire breaking out in their home.

“We would ask people to ensure they have working smoke alarms in their homes as this can provide them with an early warning if a fire should break out in their home. Above all else please remain vigilant.”

The union claimed yesterday that ministers have been "sitting" on proposals which could help resolve the row.

FBU general secretary Matt Wrack said: "We're astonished that the government would allow strikes to continue when for over a month they have been sitting on proposals that might point the way towards a solution. The ball is once again firmly in their court.

"Nevertheless firefighters simply want a workable pension scheme and an end to this dispute, and the existence of such proposals gives us hope that an end might be in sight.

"These strikes have only resumed because of a complete absence of proposals from government. Rather than speculate on the motivations for their behaviour, now that we know costed proposals exist, we call on the minister to send us proposals without any further delay."