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Firefighters sent for ‘diversity training’

October 2006

In an astonishing act of patronising PC-ness, nine Scottish firefighters, disciplined for refusing to hand out leaflets at a gay pride event, have been earmarked by superiors for a ‘diversity training’ course.

One of the firefighters involved was demoted from a watch manager to crew manager with a £5000 salary cut and the others were given a written warning.

The nine are based at Cowcaddens in Glasgow and were asked to distribute community safety advice to people attending the Pride Scotia festival in George Square in June. According to the fire service their refusal was a ‘fundamental breach of their core responsibilities’.

‘Firefighters cannot, and will not, pick and choose to whom they offer fire safety advice. Strathclyde Fire and Rescue has a responsibility to protect every one of the 2.3m people it serves, irrespective of race, religion or sexuality’.

However, some church leaders believe that the fire service failed to make proper allowance for the human rights and religious sensibilities of the officers involved

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