A SCOTTISH Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) chief has agreed will a call for a pay increase, after union members voted for industrial action.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) voted in favour of strike action over pay.

SFRS interim deputy chief officer Stuart Stevens has said although he supports a pay rise, he has reassured the public that emergencies where there is a risk to life will be responded to.

He said: “I wholly support a pay increase for our firefighters and absolutely recognise the right of firefighters to strike.

“The FBU represents many firefighters in Scotland and therefore any strike action will have an impact on our emergency response.

“As a fire and rescue service, we have a legal and moral duty to provide an emergency response to the communities of Scotland, including during periods of industrial action.

“I want to assure the public that we are developing contingency plans to enact during any strike and we will respond to any emergency where there is a risk to life or a clear sign of fire.”

More than 80 per cent of FBU members voted 'yes' for the strike action, from a turn out of 73 per cent.

This will be the first FBU strike over pay since 2003.

Mr Stevens added: “We know that the outcome of this ballot may cause concern or feelings of uncertainty.

“This is an unfolding situation which we are closely monitoring and will continue to engage with the FBU, National Joint Council, Scottish Government and other key stakeholders.

“We will know more about what this ballot means for us as a Service in the coming weeks and we will keep the public and businesses up to date.

“We also have a wealth of key safety advice on our website – firescotland.gov.uk – to help you stay safe at home, outdoors and in the workplace.”