ESSEX Fire and Rescue Service is asking the public to consider how much space it needs - for both its staff and its vehicles.

Last week there were multiples reports of members of the public getting too close to staff members and not following the government’s social distancing guidelines.

This is in addition to reports of inconsiderate parking, which can result in delays to a fire engine and crew reaching an incident.

Jo Turton, cheif fire officer, said: “Our role is to protect our public, and we’ll always been here if you need us in an emergency, but to help you, we need you to help us.

"The one way you can help us right now is to give us some space - leave two metres between you and our staff and leave three metres gap for our fire engines to pass through.

"If you see any of our staff working, particularly if we're not wearing personal protective equipment, please remember to give us space and follow social distancing guidelines.

"And remember it’s not just us that need space, our fire engines need them too.

"As we see more people than ever spending time at home, please be considerate and when you park your car and take a moment to think about whether an emergency vehicle could get through."

For a fire engine to pass through a space safely there needs to be at least a three metre gap - around three big strides.

When you're parking your vehicle, remember not to park over fire hydrants - these are usually identified by a square yellow plastic indicator sign with a black "H" symbol or a yellow concrete marker post.

Never park in front of a fire station, even if it's just for a minute.