NON-STRINKING firefighters attended four incidents in the first three hours of today's industrial action by FBU members.

Three fire crews were sent to a barn fire at the Fox and Raven public house in Barnes Mill Road, Chelmsford, at around 12.39pm.

Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used two hose reels and a jet to bring the flames under control.

Just before midday crews freed a person trapped in a lift at Homecove House, Holland Road, Westcliff.

At around 10.30am they freed a two-year-old child who was locked in a hot car at Oak Road, Grays.

The first incident was in the north of the county at 10am at Kirby Cross when firefighters were called to help East of England Ambulance Service to get a bariatric patient to hospital.

Fire chiefs have said people should still call 999 during genuine emergencies while reduced cover is in place.

Members of the Fire Brigade Union (FBU) remain on strike until 5pm in a dispute with the Government over propsed pension changes.

An Essex Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "Essex has strong resilience arrangements in place to cover the county and you should continue to dial 999 in an emergency and working firefighters will respond. During periods of reduced fire cover, please help us to help you by being safer, slower and vigilant. Businesses, don't forget to follow up any automatic alarm activation with a phone call."