Strike action over Essex fire job cuts

Fire crew tackles four blazes in two days

Fire crew tackles four blazes in two days - Credit: Archant

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has announced that firefighters in Essex will be taking industrial action over further proposed cuts to jobs in the county.

The planned strike will take place next Thursday (6th August) in protest at the latest cuts to 187 jobs, which will shrink the number of firefighters overall from 656 to 477, a reduction of 25 per cent.

The FBU says the new proposed cuts are set to decimate the county’s fire and rescue services, and could put lives at risk.

Alan Chinn-Shaw, 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 Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (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.”