NI firefighters leave pickets for emergencies


Northern Ireland firefighters again left their picket lines last night to assist with emergency calls where it was believed lives were at risk.

Cutting equipment was used by more than a dozen firefighters to free four people trapped following a head-on car collision near Dungiven in Co Derry.

All were taken to hospital after the accident on last night.

And in Armagh firefighters left their picket line to attend a house fire on the Newry Road. However, once it became clear their was no threat to life they pulled back.

The firefighters strike enters its third day today against the backdrop of comments from the Chancellor Gordon Brown who said a 16 per cent pay rise - without savings from new working practices - would be unaffordable.

He said the deal would cost more than £500 million sterling over the next three years.

"Sixteen per cent pay rises are simply not affordable," he said, adding that the Treasury would not increase funding to councils to pay for the increase and bring to an end the strike.