Firefighters with the trade union SIPTU are beginning an immediate ballot for industrial action over the closure of three fire stations in Co Offaly.
Stations at Banagher and Daingean closed last Friday while the station at Kilcormac closed in April.
Announcing the closures, Offaly County Council said it doesn't have the necessary resources to staff them.
But SIPTU have said this will result in delays in responding to emergencies with Birr, Edenderry and Tullamore now expected to provide cover for the entire county.
Balloting is expected to be completed next Thursday.