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Liverpool Firefighter Fitness Farce

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Firefighters banned from running after court payout

Dec 12 2005


By Andy Kelly, Daily Post


A BAN on running has been introduced at fire stations on Merseyside in a move union officials have branded "ludicrous".


The edict prevents officers from working on circuit training or running machines during their shifts.


Many firefighters take part in such training when not involved in call-outs in order to maintain the high levels of fitness required in their professional lives.


But Chief Fire Officer Tony McGuirk has now banned any training involving running - after an injury to one firefighter resulted in a significant court payout.


Union officials say it is another example of what they believe is "heavy-handed" management in the Fire Service.


Gavin Bassie, 38, of Woodville Avenue, Crosby, tore ligaments in his left knee after he slipped on dust at the Old Swan fire station in Liverpool, where he and his colleagues were exercising.


The injury shattered his career and he was awarded £100,000 in compensation at Liverpool County Court.


That was later challenged on appeal by Merseyside Fire Authority but, as the Daily Post reported last month, an Appeal Court upheld the award.


Mr McGuirk has now reacted to that decision by bringing in the running ban.


An email to staff from senior divisional officer Ken Peek states: "The award to Gavin Massie of £200,000 as a consequence of him slipping on invisible dust has resulted in the following decisions.


"All forms of running as part of physical training will continue to be prohibited for all service personnel until further notice.


"All service personnel are prohibited for using jogging machines until further notice (heart beat jogging machines will still be available for use by community groups)."...





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