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Firefighters attacked at Bonfire Night festivities in Edinburgh

ByElizabeth Connaughton

Nov 15, 2016

A number of firefighters around Scotland came under attack while responding to emergency calls on Bonfire Night.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service reported numerous attacks on emergency responders by members of the public, as they attempted to protect people and property from harm.

Many of these attacks involved the missiles being launched at emergency services.

One firefighter was hit by a stone in the Bingham area of Edinburgh, while a crew in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire suffered damage to their equipment due to a similar attack.

Another team in Stenhousemuir came under attack early in the evening. At around 17:45, missiles were launched at a fire engine while the crew attended the scene of a bonfire.

Firefighters in the Glasgow area also became the target of fireworks and other dangerous explosives.

A crew in the Balgrayhill area were hit by fireworks, while various missiles were launched at a fire engine at the scene of a bonfire on Fore Street in Glasgow.

Later in the evening, a similar attack was carried out in Clydebank, with explosives launched at a fire engine.

One team of firefighters on Wellington Street, Greenock, while unharmed, were forced to retreat from the area following missile attacks.

Further incidents occurred in Stirling, Aberdeen, Dundee and Falkirk, with members of the public launching projectiles at firefighters.

Lewis Ramsay, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service Assistant Chief Officer, condemned the attacks.

He told the BBC: “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.

“Those responsible should know that the authorities take these criminal actions extremely seriously and we will work closely to ensure that they are identified and held to account,” he said.

His statements were echoed by leader of the Fire Brigade Union, Chris McGlone.

“These appalling attacks must stop and we fully support the police’s efforts to find those responsible and to ensure these criminal acts are punished.

“Firefighters do not deserve to be treated in this manner and we believe that it is only a matter of time before a firefighter is very seriously injured at one of these incidents,” he told the BBC.

Bonfire Night is frequently one of the busiest nights of the year for the fire service with 970 incidents reported this year.


Image: Victoria Pickering

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