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Firefighters attacked twice in one week
written by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue on the 18th September 2017 at 10:24

Washington Firefighters attacked in Gateshead twice in one week TWFRS Blue Watch Firefighters and their Targeted Response Vehicle (TRV) were attacked twice in one week (Tuesday 4th and Wednesday 5th September) whilst responding to deliberately set fire incidents. The Washington-based crew had to face both verbal and physical attacks by young people, receiving foul mouthed abuse – whilst their emergency vehicle was pelted with stones. The attacks both occurred in the same location, the Beacon Lough Estate in Gateshead and those responsible were young people who were seen in the Craneville play park. TWFRS ACO Alan Robson commented: “These attacks are indefensible. They are not just insulting; they are endangering the lives of committed and dedicated firefighters whose sole purpose is to protect and save the lives and homes of everyone in our community. Damage to our TRV could also result in it being off the road and not available for emergency use. We are cooperating with our colleagues in Northumbria Police to ensure that those responsible are caught.” In Tyne and Wear during last year, there were 54 attacks on firefighters, ranging from harassment and verbal abuse to physical abuse and items being thrown at them and their vehicles. Neighbourhood Inspector Alan Pitchford said: “Firefighters are there to keep us safe and ultimately save people's lives. It is not acceptable that they should face being attacked while trying to carry out that duty. We will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will take firm action against anyone who thinks it is acceptable to target firefighters in this way – what you are doing is dangerous and could cost lives.” The number of incidents of firefighter attacks is on the rise, and tends to peak during the Halloween/Bonfire period. Crew Manager Steven Burns, who was one of the firefighters attacked in Gateshead, said: “It's just beyond belief that this should happen to firefighters or any other member of the emergency services, while we're doing our job. We're here to keep the community safe and shouldn't have to put up with any form of abuse.” If anyone has information about those responsible for the most recent assaults please contact the police immediately on 101.
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