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Essex: Fire service unlikely to respond to automatic alarms during strike
11:36am Saturday 12th October 2013 in News
The county's fire service has warned it may not respond to any automatic alarms during next week's national strike.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) will strike from 6.30pm to 11.30pm next Saturday in protest against government pension plans.
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has warned it will only respond to automatic fire alarms if they are followed up by a 999 call.
Since February 2011, ECFRS has only responded to automatic alarms in locations where there is a risk to life, such as schools, hospitals and residential homes.
But this policy will be abandoned during the five-hour strike.
An ECFRS spokesman said: "This will affect schools, hospitals and residential homes which ordinarily would receive a response immediately an alarm is triggered.
"Between 6.30pm and 11.30pm on Saturday October 19, 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 five hour industrial action.
"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."
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