Busy bonfire night for Northumberland fire crews

Firefighters across Northumberland were faced with a steady stream of Bonfire Night call-outs on their busiest night of the year.

While thousands of residents around the county enjoyed safe and spectacular firework displays, fire crews had a busy night attending to incidents created by a small minority of irresponsible individuals.

The fire control room took 96 calls on Sunday compared to 36 the previous year.

Crews attended 19 bonfires that were considered to be dangerous as well as several other incidents  including bin fires, a multiple vehicle fire in Blyth and a vehicle fire in Berwick. Of the calls to fire control, 14 were deemed to be false alarms and no action was required.
Unfortunately there were two incidents where fireworks were thrown as missiles at crews - one at Simonburn Lane in Ashington and one at The Oval in Blyth.  

Paul Hedley  the chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service had a strong message for those who had turned on firefighters trying to keep communities safe.

“It is so disappointing that whilst thousands of people were enjoying bonfire night as a family night, a mindless minority were behaving with such shocking disregard for our staff.

“Our firefighters have a difficult job and  work incredibly hard to keep the people of this county safe and to be greeted with aggression and unnecessary danger in this way is absolutely disgraceful.

“We will not tolerate attacks on our firefighters in any form and those responsible should know that we take these criminal actions extremely seriously and we will work closely with Northumbria Police to try and ensure they are identified and held to account.”

Northumberland County Councillor John Riddle, cabinet member for the Fire & Rescue Service  said:   “ With Bonfire night falling over the weekend we expected a busy night and our service was fully prepared with 18  fire appliances on stand-by and a full complement of frontline crews and operations control personnel.   The isolated incidents where our fire crew were targeted were completely unacceptable and very concerning.

“ I’d  like to pass on our thanks to all the event organisers and community members for their cooperation and support in  creating  what  was an extremely enjoyable Bonfire night for the majority of people.”

Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service works closely with other emergency services in the run up to Bonfire night to promote key safety messages to school children and the general community.  
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