A FIREMAN has been given a written warning after using a fire engine during a campaign to save his colleagues' jobs.
The Great Harwood officer, who does not wish to be named, was pulled before his area group manager after he was spotted at a community event in Whalley last December.
While at the event, the crew collected signatures on a petition and used a cardboard cut-out which was leant against the pump reading Save our Jobs.
A campaign was launched after it was announced that the second retained pump at Great Harwood would be axed following a lengthy public consultation which revealed a change in modern emergency fire safety cover.
The crew at Great Harwood has been fighting against the decision but fire chiefs decided they had taken it a step too far.
The 44-year-old officer, who lives in Great Harwood and has worked for the service for 24 years, said: "This is like another knife in the back which has been twisted that little bit more. I'm classing it as an insult.
"They could have called me in to tell me they were not happy, given me a slap on the wrists and that would have been enough.
"It didn't need to go this far. I think someone wanted to prove a point."
The written warning, which lasts for six months, states that the father-of-three shouldn't have used the pump during the campaign in any way.
Fire Brigade Union secretary for Lancashire, Steve Harman, said that the crew was only trying to raise the profile of the campaign.
He told the Observer: "All they were trying to do is save the public's fire service in Great Harwood.
"We are astounded that the service saw fit to take disciplinary action.
"Taking it this far was quite inappropriate and was just rubbing salt into the wound."
A spokesman for Lancashire Fire and Rescue said: "At times this has been a difficult process but we would like to emphasise that it has all been done democratically and there was a very lengthy public consultation.
"It would be a shame to detract from that by making a comment about an individual firefighter's response to it."