Essex fire service strike talks continue
- 18 July 2012
- From the section Essex
Fire crews in Essex have begun a 24-hour strike as talks aimed at halting the action continued.
The third walkout by members of the Fire Brigades Union started at 09:00 BST.
Essex Fire Service said "resilience arrangements" were in place, with a combination of retained and working firefighters covering the county.
Talks between the fire service and union to resolve the dispute started at 10:00 BST.
Hundreds of firefighters marched through Chelmsford ahead of a union rally.
More strikes planned
BBC Essex reporter James Waterhouse, who followed the march, said: "They are chanting 'no more cuts', blowing whistles, banging a drum and making plenty of noise.
"They're being given a police escort through the city. People are mainly standing by and watching them go through but there are a few toots of horns from passing motorists."
The march, which started at Admiral's Park, ended with a rally at Central Park.
Crews were called to five false alarms in the first four hours of the stoppage.
The first eight-hour walkout in June was followed by an hour-long walkout earlier this month.
Further strikes are planned for 18 August and 18 October.
The union claimed Essex will have lost one in five front-line firefighters since 2008 if planned cuts go ahead.
The fire service said it had made a number of concessions, including promising there will be no redundancies.