Busy Bonfire night for Northumberland fire crews
06 Nov 2018 ARCHIVED (over 3 months old) - view latest news
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 111 calls this Monday compared to 96 on 5th November last year.
Crews attended 20 bonfires that were considered to be dangerous as well as several other incidents including a large quantity of tyres and wheels on fire in Bebside, bin fires in Seaton Delaval and Cramlington, a horse box fire in Seghill, trees on fire in Hexham, and a road traffic collision in Morpeth. Of the calls to fire control, 18 were deemed to be false alarms and no action was required.
Unfortunately there were two incidents of aggressive and abusive behaviour towards fire crews when attending bonfires - one in Bedlington, and another in Newsham. Police have been notified of both incidents for further investigation.
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 abuse 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 near the weekend we expected a busy night and our service was fully prepared.
“I’d like to pass on our thanks to all the event organisers and community members for their cooperation and support in creating 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.