Essex Fire and Rescue Service responds to FBU claims over cutbacks

PUBLISHED: 14:56 14 September 2009 | UPDATED: 07:21 30 May 2010

THE assistant chief fire officer of Essex Fire and Rescue Service has spoken out over claims made by the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) that cuts will go ahead next month.

The FBU said on Friday that crews in Essex had been left angry after a surprise move by t

THE assistant chief fire officer of Essex Fire and Rescue Service has spoken out over claims made by the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) that cuts will go ahead next month.

The FBU said on Friday that crews in Essex had been left angry after a surprise move by the Fire Authority to press ahead with cuts to the service on October 1.

According to the FBU, specialist crews on high reach and other specialist emergency vehicles at Colchester, Harlow and Chelmsford will be hit by the move.

They described the decision as provocative and have asked for it to be suspended whilst talks to resolve the dispute continue. The union also warned the management's decision will inevitably inflame the dispute and they are facing calls to escalate the industrial action in response.

Assistant chief fire officer Gordon Hunter said: "At any one time we have never got a full compliment of firefighters, that is why we are in the process of recruiting. These continual claims about job cuts are clouding the issues because no firefighters will lose their jobs.

"The public can be reassured that the same number of firefighters will be turning up at incidents, regardless of these new measures. As far as ECFRS is concerned it's business as usual. Talks with the FBU are ongoing.

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