WATCH: What Bonfire Night is like for Tyne & Wear Fire and Rescue Service

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Reporter Debra Fox heads out into the city to see what fire crews have to deal with on Guy Fawkes Night.

To you, it means a night of wintery fun with the family but to the emergency services it means the busiest night of the year.

Reporter Debra Fox kitted out at Farringdon Fire Station.

Reporter Debra Fox kitted out at Farringdon Fire Station.

To find out just what November 5 throws in the path of our firefighters, I spent part of a shift with the crew at Farringdon Community Fire Station, in Sunderland, watching just what happens when that call comes in.

I was shown around, and given my safety briefing, by Steve Burdis, the station manager, who tells me that though November 5 remains the busiest time of year for the service, it had quietened down compared to years ago.

"The most pleasing thing is that we seem to be getting through to people," he said.

"I would say the initiatives we carry out, like targeting hotspots, making sure rubbish is uplifted and doing campaigns with the police and council is working."

Reporter Debra Fox with station manager Steve Burdis.

Reporter Debra Fox with station manager Steve Burdis.

But those that still go against the service's advice to attend organised displays, stay a safe distance from fireworks and not light their own bonfires, put a strain on resources - and impact the other emergency services too.

Speaking of his worst Bonfire Night experiences, Steve continued: "Burns to people are probably the worst."

"I have seen people not follow the firework code, and a lot of people with sparklers who do not realise the damage they can cause.

"I have seen people with severe burns to their faces and hands, people fall into a bonfire.

Reporter Debra Fox at Farringdon Fire Station.

Reporter Debra Fox at Farringdon Fire Station.

"To see people burnt through carelessness just turns your stomach but we are professionals and they are our priority.

"We are there to protect the public."

While call outs dominate a huge part of firefighters' time, there are other, oddly normal, tasks to be carried out too.

Some of the crew at Farringdon with me were on until midnight; others, until the morning. The men I ventured out with, Andy, Ben, Chris and Trevor, were called to Rainton Bridge Fire Station as a standby crew less than an hour into my shift.

The portacabin fire.

The portacabin fire.

The truck at this station was having its pump repaired by a mechanic - something so routine, but it was surprising to me that break downs can happen here.

After just a short time we're back on the road (the pump repaired) - and it's worth remembering that just because it's Bonfire Night all the usual incidents like house fires, road traffic accidents and domestic incidents, can still happen.

We were called to some disused portacabins on fire, a wheelie bin fire and an outhouse fire.

The bin blaze, on Aldershot Road, Farringdon, was extinguished in a matter of minutes, while the outhouse, on the front of the property, was mostly extinguished on arrival.

But the fire at the derelict portakabins, on Leechmere Industrial Estate, was our first and most interesting call.

As we raced through the traffic, blue lights flashing, this was my first taste of what the firefighters go through multiple times a day.

Trevor Summerell, watch manager, said: "The way you feel when we're going through with the blue lights on, we all got that too."

No one was hurt in the blaze, which was phoned in by a nearby business - but with two crews called to attend, it reminds you that resources, which are precious, were stretched.

"All of the agencies like the fire service, the police and the council want to work together to stop things like this," Trevor continued.

"Our primary function is to save lives, and now if we got a call to a house fire we couldn't go because we are here doing this."

As I left the crew at 11pm, they had hours left ahead of them with no way of knowing what was ahead. Would they get called to bonfires? Another bin fire? A collision?

The weather may have been wet, and while it put a slight downer on the fireworks for some, it didn't dampen my night.

Seeing what the firefighters do on a shift was a truly humbling and eye opening experience - and their work should not be taken for granted, least of all around November 5.