Firefighters to stage strike today in battle over pensions

Firefighters in Camden, Haringey, Barnet and Westminster are due to strike today as they battle the government over pensions.

Brigade staff will walk out for four hours from noon in the first national firefighter strike in more than a decade.

A fire engine was removed from Kentish Town station in preparation for the industrial action, along with a further 26 across the capital, to be used by a special fire cover unit.

The government wants to raise the retirement age of firefighters from 55 to 60, but the Fire Brigades Union says many firefighters will be unable to keep their fitness to an appropriate level at the age, potentially endangering the public.

Matt Wrack, general secretary Fire Brigades Union, said: “It is ludicrous to expect firefighters to fight fires and rescue families in their late fifties.

“None of us want a strike, but we cannot compromise on public and firefighter safety.”

The London Fire Brigade said Kentish Town, which usually has two engines, will remain with a single vehicle until the dispute is resolved, in case of further strike action.