Tweet along as crews tackle bonfire night

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WIGANERS can keep up to speed with the borough’s fire crews online during one of their busiest days of the year today.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue and Service (GMFRS) has launched a crew Twitter feed in time for Bonfire Night planned to “give people a greater insight” into their work.

The borough’s crews are back operating at full capacity after members of a leading union were involved with two stints of industrial action either side of the weekend.

Stand-in crews were in operation on Friday and yesterday as part of the Fire Brigades Union’s (FBU) dispute with the Government over pensions.

But no major incidents occurred during the strike hours in Greater Manchester - crews attended two incidents during the two hour strike on Monday and 57 during Friday evening’s four-and-a-half hour action.

Wigan borough’s only incident requiring the attendance of stand-in crews was at 10pm on Friday, a small bonfire on waste-land near to Chantry Walk in Ashton.

Two appliances attended and a hose reel was used to douse the fire.

The FBU’s bitter dispute with the Government has been about new pension plans that will see firefighters working up to the age of 60.

A first strike, staged on September 25, also saw the stand-in crews in operation across the region.

There was only one call out in Wigan - a rubbish fire in Marsh Green - and no major incidents during the four hour action.

Chair of GMFRS authority Coun David Acton said: “We’d like to thank the public of Greater Manchester for their vigilance leading up to and during the industrial action.

“We hope that people will continue to be vigilant and take extra care.

“Both fire safety and road safety are just as important every day of the year.”

Tonight’s tweet-a-long event will include information relayed from Wigan fire station’s crews while they tackle their busy Bonfire Night shifts.

In addition to the tweet updates, GMFRS will release an interactive map showing all the small fires attended by their crews during the busy period.

The tweet-a-long and maps are part of the annual Operation Treacle campaign designed to prevent, tackle and protect against antisocial behaviour, criminal damage and reducing incidents and injuries during the Hallowe’en and Bonfire period.

Residents can follow the progress of the fire crews by following the @wiganfireteam account on Twitter.

For more about Operation Treacle, visit www.safe4autumn.co.uk or search #Treacle2013 on Twitter.