Union blasts move to sack 'fat' Scottish firefighter

Aberdeen Evening Express

GRAMPIAN, Scotland — A firefighter sacked for being too fat was just weeks away from reaching his target weight, it was claimed today.

Kevin Ogilvie was fired by Grampian Fire and Rescue Service for a second time after failing to shed enough pounds.

After first being dismissed last year he was handed a reprieve - but ordered to lose three and a half stones.

The Evening Express understands Mr Ogilvie was just three quarters of a stone short of his goal.

Union officials will now consult with members on what action - if any - should be taken in support of the popular rescue worker.

Mr Ogilvie was fired last year after 22 years with Grampian Fire and Rescue Service when bosses decided he was not fit for duty.

He was reinstated when colleagues threatened to strike.

A deal brokered between brigade chiefs and the fire union meant he had to slim down or face losing his job permanently.

He worked with a dietician and an obesity expert as he battled the bulge.

It is understood he continued to lose weight every month but not at the rate his bosses had asked for.

He was given his marching orders for a second time just 35 minutes after his latest fitness assessment.

Had he continued to lose weight at the rate he had been, it's understood he would have been expected to reach his target within less than two months.

The Fire Brigade Union said Mr Ogilvie had worked hard to lose weight and meet fitness levels, but insisted the targets were unachievable.

FBU secretary Alan Paterson said: "He worked very hard with a dietician and with an obesity expert we got onboard.

"The obesity expert said there was no way Kevin could achieve the targets he was set within the time-scale they wanted."

Grampian Fire and Rescue Service insisted it made unprecedented efforts to support Mr Ogilvie, but was left with no option but to dismiss him.

The FBU held an emergency meeting over the issue.

The union has said it may take legal action and strike action was not out of the question.

Roddy Robertson, executive council member for FBU Scotland, said: "We will now be contacting union members across Grampian to see what their feeling is.

"We are not ruling industrial action out, nor are we ruling legal action out."

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