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Proposals for the future of the Service approved by Essex Fire Authority

The Essex Fire Authority agreed proposals to change the future shape and size of Essex County Fire and Rescue Service at their meeting today.

Councillors approved the second of three Options for Change which they had taken to public consultation between February 1 and April 25 this year.

Under this option the Service would have 66 fire engines, 18 of which would be wholetime and 48 on-call; a reduction in wholetime firefighter numbers from 570 to 432, with on-call firefighters numbers rising from 437 to 456.

The decision follows the largest consultation Essex County Fire and Rescue has ever carried out which saw more than 17,000 people make their opinion known. Option Two received support from 73% of respondents.

Cllr Anthony Hedley, Chairman of the Essex Fire Authority, said: “Today’s decision provides clarity on the future of the Service. Option two gives us the greatest scope to provide a robust response while expanding the Service’s role in prevention and protection.

“The Service will now work with staff, and their representative bodies, to create an implementation plan which will be presented to the Essex Fire Authority in September.

"I would like to thank all the people who made their opinions known and took part in the consultation. Their views were taken into consideration and played an important role in today's decision."

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