Lollipop man sacked for ‘blocking’ on call fire engine

Witness Jacqui Brittain described her surprise at the incident
Witness Jacqui Brittain described her surprise at the incident

A lollipop man who blocked an on-call fire engine ‘several times’ by moving children across a road has been sacked.

Luton Borough Council launched an investigation after the crossing guard posted outside William Austin Junior School ignored a fire engine’s sirens and blocked its progress by repeatedly ushering children and parents across the road.

At the time the fire crew was on its way to a tree fire on St Ethelbert Avenue– just a few doors down from the crossing.

Eyewitness Jacqui Brittain exclusively told the Luton News at her disbelief, as she saw “five or six” firefighters get out of the vehicle to forcibly move the lollipop man out of the way.

A council spokesperson said: “Luton Borough Council has now concluded its enquiries into reports that a School Crossing Patrol Officer held up a fire engine on an emergency call on 13 April.

“After following our due process, the employee concerned has been summarily dismissed on the grounds of gross misconduct.”

On the sacking Mrs Brittain told the Luton News: “I suppose it is justified as it is a really important, life changing job.

“I should imagine that it comes down to a lack of training, though the lollipop man himself is a driver so his common sense should have kicked in.

“I did the same job for 20 years and the first thing they told us is that when you hear sirens you should not go back onto the road as there is likely to be another fire engine on its way.”

Mrs Brittain added her concerns for the state of the crossing on St Ethelbert Avenue.

She said: “The council really need to up the ante on getting cover for it as it is just chaos there.

“Why don’t the supervisors cover the sites? It is a real failure.”