Firefighters’ gifts for hospital ward


Firefighters from Harrogate, Knaresborough and Summerbridge fire stations donated gifts given to them by well-wishers to the children at Harrogate Hospital on Christmas day.

Staff and patients on the children’s ward at Harrogate District Hospital were visited by local ‘Fireman Sams’ on Christmas morning, when watch manager Nev Scott and firefighter Mick Sunter dropped by to deliver gifts.

The gifts were given to the firefighters from members of the public during strike action on Christmas Eve.

Simon Wall, Fire Brigades Union West Division secretary, said the firefighters had received huge support from the public.

“We had so many people coming down to wish us well on Christmas Eve during the strike and to stop and talk to us about the strike.

“We had a massive amount of public support, which is great, a big morale booster.

He added: “We don’t want to be on strike, it’s a difficult time, but we need to stand up for this. If we don’t stand up for this, for our pensions, then we will be really struggling.”

Well-wishers visited the firefighters who were on strike on Christmas Eve at Harrogate fire station, with some people leaving Christmas presents of sweets and chocolates.

“We decided to take them down to the children’s ward at the hospital on Christmas morning for the children and all the staff,” said Mr Wall.

“Everyone at the hospital was very welcoming and supportive as well. I really didn’t expect the level of support we have received.”

He added: “All the firefighters at Harrogate, Knaresborough and Summerbridge fire stations want to say thank you to the public for all their support at this difficult time and we are really grateful.”

The Fire Brigade Union announced three strikes around Christmas as part of the ongoing national dispute over the proposed reform of firefighter pension schemes.

No major incidents occured in North Yorkshire during the strike on Tuesday, December 24.

The FBU went on to strike on New Year’s Eve, Tuesday December 31, from 6.30pm to Wednesday, January 1, at 12.30am and will strike again on Friday, January 3 , between 6.30am and 8.30am.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service tries to ensure there is fire cover in place across most of the area and in the case of major emergencies the FBU may recall striking firefighters.

Firefighters in Surrey and Kent were recalled on Christmas Eve to deal with flooding after storms.