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6 August 2015, 06:00 | Updated: 6 August 2015, 06:01
Essex firefighters to stage protest strike against frontline cuts
Firefighters in Essex are striking, from 9am-6pm in protest at further cuts to firefighter jobs which the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says are set to decimate the county's fire and rescue services.
Alan Chinn-Shaw, secretary of the FBU in Essex, said: "Our service has suffered cut after cut. These attacks are nothing less than a dismantling of the fire and rescue service in Essex. If ECFRS are allowed to continue decimating our frontline service, the public will have to wait longer for their fire engines to arrive in an emergency. It is only a matter of time before there are casualties.
"ECFRS are making it impossible to maintain the safe, professional service we provide. We are campaigning on behalf of the public to maintain a fire service that is adequately funded, professional and able to respond swiftly to emergency 999 calls. Our communities deserve nothing less. We recognise that our fire service is facing budget reductions, but we believe there are alternatives to these unnecessary cuts to lifesaving front line services."
Essex Fire and Rescue say they have resilience arrangements in place to ensure fire cover is maintained across the County.
They also want the public to help though, and play a part in keeping risk to a minimum.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer Paul Hill says "Fire engines will still be attending emergencies and the public should continue to dial 999 as normal.
"But anything we can do to reduce the number of non-emergency calls during the strike periods over the weekend will clearly assist us in ensuring our service delivery is directed to those areas where it is most needed".