FIREFIGHTERS from Malmesbury had to abandon their sponges on Saturday when they were sent to cover for striking colleagues at Wiltshire Fire Service’s Devizes headquarters..
The team was all ready to raise cash for a bench in memory of crewmates Steve Mills and Martyn Snell with a car wash.
But it had to be had to cancelled at the last minute when they were sent to stand by at Devizes during a seven-hour walk out by members of the Fire Brigades Union.
As the industrial action ended they went to help deal with a major fire at a scrap yard in Trowbridge.
“Unfortunately due to operational requirements we had no choice but to cancel,” said watch manager Chris Harvey.
“I am in the process of re-arranging the charity car wash for the Malmesbury Fire Fighters Memorial bench and the Fire Fighters Charity to next Saturday 28th June starting at 10am.”
Eight incidents, including three fires and a medical emergency were handled by retained and volunteer crews in Wiltshire during the industrial action.
Malmesbury firefighters dealt with a crash on the A4 at Cherhill, along with a team from Melksham.
The scrapyard fire at Shanley’s in Shails Lane, started just before the strike began. Six appliances were sent with a water carrier from Ramsbury and an incident support unit from Devizes.
Firefighters from Trowbridge, Melksham and Warminsters who had been due to go on strike at 10am stayed behind to ensure the blaze was brought under control as quickly as possible.
The union is in dispute with the government over changes to pensions.