Page last updated at 03:35 GMT, Wednesday, 16 July 2008 04:35 UK

Strike ballot over 'fat' fireman

Kevin Ogilvie
Kevin Ogilvie was dismissed after 22 years of service

Firefighters have agreed to ballot for strike action over the sacking of a colleague who management decided was overweight and not fit for duty.

Kevin Ogilvie was dismissed by Grampian Fire and Rescue after 22 years, on the grounds he posed a safety risk.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) met in Aberdeen on Tuesday night to discuss industrial action.

They claim he could have been moved. Grampian Fire and Rescue said its decision followed an arduous process.

FBU branch secretary Alan Paterson said the union would now lodge an official trades dispute and a ballot would be held by the end of the summer.

"We believe the service has sacked Mr Ogilvie on the ground of incapability in the absence of any policy," said Mr Paterson.

This matter has been dealt with professionally, fairly, responsibly and in line with service policy
Peter Murray, Grampian Fire and Rescue Service

"We believe this decision is far too severe and they could have redeployed him.

"He hasn't done anything wrong, he just turns up for his work. He just doesn't fit the bill, that is what it comes down to."

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service said it had been forced to act after a "very long and arduous process of support and consideration".

Peter Murray, the service's assistant chief fire officer, said: "The service is extremely disappointed that that is the course of action that the union proposes to take.

"This matter has been dealt with professionally, fairly, responsibly and in line with service policy that the Fire Brigades Union were consulted on."

He said the service's policy required crew "to be able to perform all the potential requirements of a modern firefighter".

Mr Murray added: "If I was a resident within the communities of Aberdeen or anywhere else where our firefighters work from, I would think it is reasonable to expect them to be fit to perform these duties."

'Overweight' firefighter sacked
03 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Fire action threat over sacking
02 Jul 08 |  North East/N Isles
Action over firefighter dropped
09 Nov 06 |  North East/N Isles

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