Scotland's firefighters come under attack on bonfire night

6 November 2017, 08:37

Bonfire Night

Fire chiefs have condemned people who threw missiles and fireworks at firefighters as they responded to calls on Guy Fawkes Night.

Crews responded to around 330 incidents involving bonfires between 5pm and 10pm on November 5, while control rooms dealt with more than 800 calls about them.

However firefighters had missiles and fireworks thrown at them at 11 of the incidents as they worked to keep people safe.

Assistant Chief Officer (ACO) Lewis Ramsay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) director of response and resilience, said they would work to track down the culprits and pass the information to police.

He said: "Attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable and I am sure the public would be outraged by incidents where their firefighters have been targeted while working to protect people and property.

"This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues including the police when they have to escort us at the scene. This cannot be condoned.

"The communities of Scotland are all fantastic and they appreciate greatly the work of the fire service, and we would urge the majority of law abiding residents to alert the police to any such reckless activity.

"We will also work to identify those responsible and we will pass that intelligence to our police partners which can result in a variety of consequences - and potentially affect future employment prospects."

SFRS had appealed to the public to choose to attend organised events rather than do-it-yourself fireworks displays or illegal bonfires.

ACO Ramsay said: "Bonfire Night is typically the service's busiest night of the year, but in addition to numerous bonfires firefighters continue to respond to the full range of emergencies we face on a daily basis.

"Our frontline crews and operations control personnel are extremely dedicated and I would like to pay tribute to their professionalism, skill and hard work which enabled them to help protect communities across the country."