Firefighters attacked over Bonfire weekend

GREATER Manchester firefighters have been pelted with sticks, stones and bricks as bonfire celebrations continued over the weekend, despite a plea last week for people to stay at home and respect emergency services.

From 5pm on Friday 6 November to 8am Monday 9 November firefighters from across Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service received 533 calls and attended 276 incidents.

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said: “Our emergency service colleagues have worked exceptionally hard, not just this week, but for the last nine months whilst we’ve been dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I’d ask everyone to think twice about their actions. Our blue light workers put their lives on the line every single day to keep you and your families safe and they have their own families to go home to at the end of their shift. They already have a challenging job, please don’t add to this by behaving inconsiderately.”   

At 4.22pm on Friday 6 November a crew from Manchester Central attended a bonfire involving a quantity of wood on a waste ground in Aldbourne Close, Manchester.

Approximately 20 youths were in attendance and firefighters gave advice to the group.

Later that day at 7.33pm Manchester Central attended another bonfire at the same location in Manchester.

On arrival firefighters were faced with approximately 10 to 15 youths throwing items, including bricks, at them.

After assessing the scene, firefighters decided to withdraw from the incident as the bonfire was in a safe position away from surrounding properties.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer, Dawn Docx, said: “Thankfully no one was injured at either of these incidents on Saturday or the attack on Thursday evening, but this is completely unacceptable.

“No firefighter, police officer or paramedic should be subject to an attack for doing their job and keeping the people of Greater Manchester safe.

“We’ve all had a challenging time this year and I would ask everyone to continue to support their emergency services by staying at home and staying safe.”

In Stockport a similar incident occurred at 10.26pm when a crew from Whitehill attended a bonfire in Goyt Valley Road, Bredbury.

Firefighters attempted to extinguish the fire when approximately 10 youths began to throw missiles, including sticks and stones, at them and the fire engine.

Officers from Greater Manchester Police came to provide support to crews and firefighters safely extinguished the bonfire.

Other incidents that crews attended over the weekend include bin fires and bonfires in the open.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) is running a firework amnesty. If you have any unused fireworks that you would like to dispose of safely please call us on 0800 555 815.

09/11/2020 12:45 PM