Firefighters attacked with missiles and washing machines burnt on bonfires - what Tyne and Wear Fire Service faced as they attended 211 Bonfire Night incidents
Attending incidents on Bonfire night, firefighters across Tyne and Wear were subjected to attacks and abuse, including aggression from youths in Hetton-le-Hole, crews having missiles thrown at them in Throckley and Jarrow and fireworks being thrown at crews in North Shields.
Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: “It is absolutely unacceptable that firefighters, who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, are being attacked in the line of duty.
“Thankfully on these occasions, no one was injured and we actually saw fewer incidents of this nature this year.”
The control room dealt with 372 calls this year, compared to the 512 they received in 2018 and fire crews attended 211 incidents, less than half of the 556 were attended last year. No injuries from fireworks have been reported this year.
Chief Fire Officer Lowther continued: “Although the last few days have been relatively quiet compared to previous years, it’s still a very busy time for us. I’d like to thank our firefighters, control room and community safety teams for all of their hard work over the past few weeks.
“Working with partners, schools and community groups to share our safety messages has clearly paid off.”
The ‘Station Field Bonfire’ in Haswell Village was attended by wardens when concerned members of the public became worried about inappropriate items being placed on the fire, including washing machines, fridge freezers and tyres.
Haswell Parish Conncil posted on Facebook and said: “As the event progressed, white goods were seen to be put back on the fire and three vans dumped a number of tyres. At the end of the night, household waste was being moved using a wheelbarrow to and from the fire.
“The aftermath is appalling. The grass is turfed and ruined, there is rubbish scattered all over and the fence that was removed has been burned.”