Brandweer Engeland krijgt molotov-cocktails naar hun kop

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Ko van Leeuwen

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Gepost op: 16 januari 2023, 13:02:49

"The worst attack in my 26 years as a firefighter"

Those are the words of Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther after crews in West Denton were targeted with petrol bombs on Saturday evening.

At around 6.30pm Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue received a call about a suspected car on fire in a cul-de-sac but when crews arrived they were subjected to horrendous abuse.

It was in fact a small rubbish fire near Hill Top House, believed to have been started by the group to lure firefighters to the scene.

They were verbally abused before glass bottles containing liquid, and stuffed with rags, were hurled at the crews.

Thankfully they fell short of them, and didnít ignite, but other glass bottles narrowly missed firefighters and smashed inside the fire vehicle, leaving shards of glass across the seats.

Those responsible even tried to use sandbags to block exit from the street and it was only thanks to the assistance of a resident in removing the bags that they could escape.

Increidbly, none of the firefighters were injured but the impact these kind of attacks have on appliances cannot be understated. It is disgusting.

Chief Fire Officer Lowther has put an exclusion zone in place in areas of West Denton that means firefighters will only attend secondary fires with a police escort and full risk assessment.

Firefighters will still attend fires where life or property are at risk but he says he doesnít take the action, which was last used in the Meadowell riots of the 90s, lightly.

🗣 Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: "The attacks our crews were subjected to last night were up there with the worst I have seen in my 26 years as a firefighter.

"This was a planned and coordinated assault on emergency workers who were responding to an incident with only one thing in mind, the safety of our communities.

"Our firefighters already put themselves in dangerous situations without being subjected to verbal and physical abuse, including being showered with dangerous missiles.

"They are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons and daughters. They are human beings, with families. They are not nameless faces in a uniform.

"We are committed to working with the police to identify those involved in these mindless attacks on the emergency services but we need the support of our communities.

"If you know those responsible, and choose not to come forward, then you are condoning attacks on the very people who are there in your hour of greatest need.

"This is the latest in a string of attacks and needs to stop now. A line has been crossed and we need to ensure those responsible are held to account."

💻 Tyne and Wear Fire Rescue are working closely with the police and would ask anyone who has any information about the incidents contacts the police via their website, or by calling 101.

☎ If you donít want to speak to police, you can also call the independent charity FireStoppers anonymously on 0800 169 5558.