GREEN Goddesses could make a return to the streets of Accrington if firefighters vote to strike to "stop lives being put at risk".
Fire officers reacted angrily when Lancashire county councillors decided last week to cut the number of men sent out on each engine from five to four.
The ruling will apply to engines from six Lancashire stations, including Hyndburn Community Fire Station, but will not lead to job cuts.
The Fire Brigade Union's Lancashire branch said the cut would put the lives of residents and firefighters at risk.
But fire bosses claim four officers per unit is enough to do the job - and it would be strike action that put lives at risk
Chief Fire Officer Peter Holland said the change was necessary so cash currently spent on the extra officer per engine could instead be spent on hiring community officers to teach fire safety to members of the public.
FBU members are being balloted on strike action. If they decide to strike, the Army would provide emergency cover on its old fleet of Green Goddesses, which took to the streets of Accrington during the last fire strike in early 2003.
The vote is likely to take place in January, with a result expected by early February.
No indication has been given about when a strike would take place. It is understood it could could last a few hours or two or three days.
FBU Lancashire branch secretary Steve Harman said: "We hope your readers understand that this decision will result in lives being put at risk - both firefighters and members of the public.
"When we deal with incidents like house fires, it is part of our written plan that a five-man unit must arrive first to guarantee safety and carry out a successful rescue.
"Cutting numbers like that is very unpopular with firefighters and we will do whatever it takes to reverse this decision."
Mr Holland said more than a quarter of fire callouts in the three years after November 2001 were dealt with by four-man units without a safety problem.
He added: "Of all the county fire brigades we have the worst record on fire deaths in the country.
"In some areas we have been able to reduce response times but not reduce the number of people being killed.