Bonfire Night 2022: Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service sees rise in emergency calls, with firefighters facing attacks AGAIN while tackling blazes

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service received almost 400 emergency calls on Bonfire Night.
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The service took 371 emergency calls on Saturday, November 5, alone – up from 356 last year.

But the number of total incidents from November 1 to 6 actually saw a 1.1% decrease year-on-year.

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Pockets of anti-social behaviour and calls about illegal bonfires meant Saturday was still a busy night for firefighters and Fire Control staff, with more than 170 calls about potentially dangerous bonfires.

The service experienced 183 deliberate secondary fires from November 1-6, compared to 178 incidents in 2021, an increase of 2.8%.

There have been no reports of any members of the public being seriously injured.

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There were seven incidents at which crews were attacked while performing their duties, while police and two teenage boys came under attack with rockets in Southwick.

Cato Square in SouthwickCato Square in Southwick
Cato Square in Southwick
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The service attended a number of locations across Sunderland, including Hylton Castle, Ford Estate, Rennie Place, Cato Square, Elmwood Road and Cranleigh Road.

Area manger Richie Rickaby praised staff for their hard work and also thanked the community.

“We would like to applaud all of our staff and crews for their effort and commitment throughout the Bonfire Night season and beyond,” he said.

“We will never condone the deliberate and malicious actions of a minority of the local community, who take it upon themselves to provoke and attack the very people who are there to protect them.

A bonfire in Hylton CastleA bonfire in Hylton Castle
A bonfire in Hylton Castle
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"This shouldn’t eclipse the tremendous work that was delivered with schools and groups across the region that produced some wonderful results.”

The service ran a Darker Nights campaign highlighting potential issues in the run-up to November 5, with staff and firefighters delivering bespoke lessons to schools.

Thousands of children received vital life-saving advice as members of TWFRS attended 57 schools across the region.

“Our hard hitting Darker Nights campaign definitely hit a raw nerve as the graphic imagery showed the potential serious injuries and disfigurement that some young people could experience if they were to start deliberate fires, and the effects it could have not only on themselves, but on their family and friends,” said AM Rickaby.

A fire in Ford EstateA fire in Ford Estate
A fire in Ford Estate
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“We all have to appreciate that if we do something wrong then there are sometimes horrific consequences that we have to endure.

“In this case saying to young people they wouldn’t being able to do the things that they enjoy the most like, playing computer games and on their mobile phones due to the life-changing injuries they may sustain.

“This was part of the important key messages that we were able to successfully share through our leaflets, social media and face-to-face communications with thousands of students across Tyne and Wear.

“The service would like to thank our partners and colleagues for their support throughout the Darker Nights campaign, which will continue in to the winter months ahead.”

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The service worked with Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service during the campaign, as well as all local authorities in Tyne and Wear, Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, Nexus and regional housing associations.

A car fire in Cato Square, SouthwickA car fire in Cato Square, Southwick
A car fire in Cato Square, Southwick

If you have any important information about deliberate fires being started in your local community – you can report the details anonymously by calling Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558 or by reporting it through their website