Firefighters attend less incidents this Bonfire Night despite coming under attack

FIREFIGHTERS across Greater Manchester came under attack on Bonfire Night despite attending fewer incidents compared to the same period last year.

North West Fire Control dealt with 423 calls from 4pm yesterday (Tuesday 5 November) until 8am today (Wednesday 6 November) – with crews from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) attending 272 incidents. This is a decrease compared to last year, where 291 incidents were attended across the city-region.

Despite our frontline crews working hard to keep members of the public safe whilst enjoying firework and bonfire related activities, they still came under attack at a number of incidents.

At one incident in Hyde firefighters had to withdraw after a group of 40 youths starting throwing fireworks at them. Similarly in Partington crews came under attack by youths throwing missiles and rockets at them.

Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester, Bev Hughes said: “Shockingly, fire crews came under attack once again in some areas of Greater Manchester for simply doing their job to protect their communities. This behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

The incidents where firefighters came under attack were in Manchester, Tameside, Oldham, Trafford and Bury boroughs. At each of these incidents sadly our crews had to withdraw as it became too unsafe for them to do their job.

GMFRS Chief Fire Officer, Jim Wallace said: “Bonfire Night is a particularly busy time for the fire service, and other emergency services in Greater Manchester, and last night as expected they all did a fantastic job at keeping the public safe.

“The last thing our crews need when attending incidents, some of which can be particularly challenging, is to be concerned that they themselves will be attacked, with the potential that firefighters and fire engines are then unavailable due to anti-social behaviour.

“Thankfully, despite the attacks on our crews last night, no one was harmed, but I would take this time to remind members of the public that our staff are doing their job, keeping the communities of Greater Manchester safe, and they want to go home to their families at the end of their shift.

“Help us to help you by respecting our emergency services.”

Other incidents that fire crews were called to include bin fires, unattended bonfires, grass fires and more.

Bev continued: “I would like to thank all our emergency services for their hard work last night. I spent some time with firefighters responding to a variety incidents and while the majority of people were enjoying Bonfire Night safely, some unfortunately were irresponsible which put an unnecessary strain on fire crews and put people in danger.”

If you are continuing the Bonfire Night celebrations throughout the rest of the week and weekend please read over our safety advice on our website.

Article Published: 06/11/2019 12:36 PM