Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

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Businesses must make an alarm call during four day strike

Businesses are being urged to be vigilant during the four day national Fire Brigade Union strike taking place from friday October 31.

Essex FBU members will be striking from 6pm on October 31 to 6pm on November 4 - in four days of continuous action. 

Essex County Fire and Rescue Service says if resources are stretched, it may not be able to respond to ANY calls generated by automatic fire alarms, unless these are backed up by a 999 call. This will affect schools, hospitals and residential homes which ordinarily would receive a response immediately an alarm is triggered.

Since February 2011, ECFRS has significantly reduced fire calls by no longer responding to automatic fire alarms originating from offices or factories, or to calls from telephone kiosks where the caller dials 999 and abandons the call by hanging up unless there is a follow up call.

However, the Service has maintained its response to AFAs in premises where there is risk to life such as schools, and also where people sleep, such as hospitals and residential homes.

During strike periods when there is reduced cover, ALL premises are being advised to make the call in the event of an emergency and fire appliances will attend.

ECFRS has resilient arrangements in place to provide fire cover to the County during the eight-day industrial action by Fire Brigades Union members this week. Essex firefighters on Essex fire appliances will be responding to 999 calls in the normal way but resources could be stretched with reduced personnel and fire appliances on the run during the strike.

The dispute is between the FBU and the Government over proposed pension reforms.

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