Firefighters in Gloucestershire went on strike last night in their long-running dispute with the Government over pensions.
Fire Brigades Union (FBU) members went on strike as storms hit, causing floods in parts of the county.
FBU officials met Fire Minister Brandon Lewis yesterday to discuss the dispute.
FBU general secretary, Matt Wrack, said: “Firefighters on duty over the festive period don’t have much to celebrate this year and tonight’s strikes will remind the government of the service we provide 24 hour a day, 365 days a year, every year of our careers.
“Nobody wants these strikes but firefighters remain extremely angry over the prospect of being priced out of their pensions and facing the sack owing to the government’s ludicrous pretence that men and women of 60 can meet the same fitness standards as 20 year olds.
“The government at Westminster has acknowledged our concerns but not done anything to seriously address them, so we welcome the chance to meet the government and hope this afternoon’s meeting provides a genuine dialogue.”
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service is once again reassuring communities that a professional service will be maintained in the county during the strikes.
A spokesman for Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service said: “GFRS has contingency plans in place which mean that it will largely be business as usual, despite the strikes.
“However, local people and businesses should make sure they do everything they can to stay safe in their homes or workplace.”