Firefighters and supporters will hold a rally at County Hall at 9am tomorrow morning (Tuesday 15th July), calling for Hertfordshire County Council to reinstate firefighter Ashley Brown following his dismissal for discussing strike action on social media.The Fire Brigades Union says a question has been submitted to the council meeting asking for an appeal panel of councillors to convene to review his dismissal.Brownâ€™s wife, Nicola, will attend the rally and has written an emotive appeal to the council asking them to give her husband a second chance (below).Keith Handscomb, who represents the East of England on the FBUâ€™s executive council, said: â€œA dedicated firefighter and father of three has been sacked for the first â€˜blipâ€™ in an otherwise exemplary, 25-year track career, leaving him and his family in a desperate situation.â€œIt seems that political tensions around the national firefighter strike clouded what should really have been a simple individual case.â€œThere is real outrage among firefighters and beyond over how he has been treated, and the council must reinstate him so he can do what he does best â€” serving the people of Hertfordshire as a professional and experienced firefighter.â€The FBU says Brown, a father of three whose father and uncle were firefighters, now faces financial demands related to caring for his sick father (who was also a firefighter alongside Brownâ€™s uncle) as well as trying to manage other serious health issues within his family.Charles Walker, the MP for Broxbourne, has said he supports Brownâ€™s reinstatement, being quoted as saying: â€œI hope that his case will be reviewed and that some compassion will be exercised by those in authority.â€œHe fully admits to having made a mistake, which he has apologised for.â€œI hope common sense prevails and he is given the opportunity to return to the job he loves.â€In the letter to the council, Ashleyâ€™s wife, Nicola Brown, said:â€œI am Ashley Brownâ€™s wife and the desperation I am feeling has forced me to swallow some pride and write to you myself.â€œMy husband has been a firefighter for over 25 years. In the 22 years that I have known him, I have only ever heard positive and complementary words from his colleagues, praising how good he is at his job.“My children and I have always been so immensely proud of him. He has missed many precious moments in our family to go to work and help others. Sometimes if I allowed myself to think of what he could potentially face whilst on duty it was too much to bare, knowing that he may not come home.â€œLike many firefighters, he rarely brought his work home with him. He would hardly ever talk about jobs and the sometimes terrible things that he had faced and seen. He would never speak of the emotional scars that these situations have no doubt left him with. When he came home it was his time to be a husband and a father to our three children. To him this meant being strong and leaving his work behind him.â€œThis has all changed.Â As a result of his dismissal I have seen Ash fall apart. I have had to ask for financial help from my family as this nightmare happened just two weeks before Christmas. The incredible strain this has put on us as a family is indescribable. Ash has given the best years of his life to the fire service and to helping other people. Now Ash needs a helping hand. Our whole family needs some help.â€œAsh has never meant any harm to anyone and he has apologised for what he did. I canâ€™t believe anyone thinks what he has been accused of doing deserves what he is now suffering. I appeal to you, please help us put our life back together. Please do whatever you can to help Ash get a second chance.â€
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