ESSEX Fire Service has said it will help out with “over the border incidents” during the forthcoming strike by firefighters in London.

In a strongly worded statement, Essex fire bosses have said their members “will not stand by and watch people die because they are a mile or two over the border”.

The service has said it has a standing arrangement with London Fire Brigade to help out in border areas such as Chingford and Woodford, in incidents which threaten lives such as fires and road traffic accidents.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Adam Eckley reiterated his service's position as his own members considered balloting for industrial action short of a strike.

He said: “Speaking to our own staff after the first strike in London at the weekend, many of them have been unhappy with the bullying tactics employed by the FBU in London and I am certain that at such a difficult time they will not be hoodwinked into a ballot that calls for increased industrial action in Essex at a time when they are already being financially penalised during our own ongoing dispute.

“We are not asking them to do anything they wouldn’t ordinarily do and I am convinced none of them would support action that effectively asks us to stand by and watch people die.”

Members of London Fire Brigade plan to hold an eight hour strike on Monday, November 1, and a 47 hour strike from next Friday, November 5.