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Thong-wearing fireman escapes axe

No IT angle, but plenty of helmet and chopper

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Editorial note: OK, we lied - the following piece has been purged of all cheap cracks about engines, appliances, greasy poles, axes, choppers or helmets. Now read on...

Here's a useful pointer for anyone thinking of whipping their clothes off this afternoon and running starkers through the office: a thong could be the only thing between you and the sack. Or the only only thing between your colleagues and your sack, depending on how you look at it.

That, at least, is what Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service employee Peter Gilbertson has discovered after being accused of gross misconduct as a result of allegedly walking disrobed across the fire station yard.

However, Gilbertson wowed the subsequent disciplinary hearing by producing the thong he had in fact been sporting at the time, explaining that he was simply nipping to his car for some shower gel, the BBC explains.

Accordingly, he has received a final written warning instead of being given his marching orders. Gilbertson, a fireman for 15 years, lamented: "I made a bad decision that day and I am just glad to have been given the opportunity to put this incident behind me and continue with the career that I really enjoy."

A suitably hacked-off Deputy chief fire officer, Tony Proctor, proclaimed: "Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service treats matters regarding the professional conduct of its staff very seriously and is extremely disappointed that such an incident has occurred."

Proctor does, however, apparently have high hopes for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service's chances in the forthcoming beach volleyball world championships, where Gilbertson and his thong-clad fellow firefighters will be eager to give their choppers a rest and concentrate solely on their ball-handling skills... (You're fired - Ed) ®

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