'We had to retreat': Firefighters pelted with bricks on Bonfire Night

Emergency services came under attack when responding to incidents last year.

Attacked firefighters urge people to attend organised Bonfire Night displays Getty Images

Firefighters who were pelted with stones and bricks on Bonfire Night last year have urged people to go to organised displays.

Glen Reid, crew commander from Cumbernauld Community Fire Station in Lanarkshire, revealed his team were pelted with bricks and stones as they attempted to extinguish a blaze on Friday, November 5, 2021.

Following the incident, two firefighters attended hospital with minor injuries before being discharged the same evening, while Mr Reid’s fire engine also sustained surface damage.

“We had to retreat back to the fire appliance where the vehicle then came under attack,” he said.

“We realised that we couldn’t get out of the street because it had been blocked off with wheelie bins. Police attended the scene and the youths ran away.

“Someone could have been seriously hurt and this kind of behaviour puts an added strain on emergency services. As we get closer to Bonfire Night this year, we’d urge people to always go to an organised event.”

Figures from last year’s Bonfire Night showed crews responded to more than 370 bonfires across the country between 3.30pm and 11.30pm, making it one of their busiest nights of the year.

During 2021’s proceedings, there were eight reported attacks on crews and three injuries.

Deputy Assistant Chief Officer Alasdair Perry, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s head of prevention and protection, said: “Attacks on our firefighters are completely unacceptable and are carried out by a small minority.

“We know that our crews have a lot of support within our communities. We want people to enjoy themselves at times of celebration, but we want them to do so safely and think of others, including our crews who are working hard to respond to emergencies.

“Bonfires and fireworks go hand in hand at this time of year, and we advise people to go to an organised event wherever possible and always follow the Fireworks Code.”

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s website has a list of organised events taking place across Scotland as well as safety advice for members of the public.

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