Firefighters in Essex are planning to strike next Thursday (6th August) 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.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) have already suffered some extremely severe budget cuts. These new proposed cuts will mean that another 187 jobs could go, shrinking the number of firefighters overall from 656 to 477, a 25% reduction.
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.”