Attacked for just doing their job

A firefighter has been attacked whilst trying to extinguish a fire in South Tyneside.

On Tuesday 9th January, a call came into Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service’s (TWFRS) control room at 6:05pm about a fire in Hebburn.

A crew were dispatched to a fire at some bushes on Adair Way.

Whilst at the incident, the crew were approached by a group of young people, one on a motorcycle, who assaulted a firefighter, hitting them in the face.

The crews withdrew from the scene for their safety and called Police for support and to report the incident.

Thankfully the firefighter did not require medical treatment, but is understandably shaken by the events.

Today (Monday) senior leaders at TWFRS are condemning the attack on their firefighters for doing their job.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Heath said, “I am shocked and saddened to hear that one of our firefighters has been attacked whilst responding to an incident in our community.

“We are ensuring that our firefighter is fully supported following this traumatic event.

“These incidents happen rarely and involve a small minority of people but it is unacceptable for anyone to be expected to tolerate physical or verbal assault whilst carrying out their job.

“We will be supporting the Police during their investigation into the incident but I also want to reach out to the people and urge them to report any information they may have in relation to the attack or perpetrators to the Police or to the anonymous reporting line CrimeStoppers.”

Neighbourhood Inspector Denise Easdon of Northumbria Police, added: “Our blue light colleagues come to work each day to protect their communities and to help people – and do not deserve to face hostility or violence when trying to do their job.

“This behaviour simply won’t be tolerated, and we will take robust action against anyone found to have been involved in this incident.

“Enquiries are ongoing – and we would urge anyone in the community who has information which could assist to report it to us through our website or by calling 101 quoting reference NP-20240109-0809.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Northumbria Police on 101, or using the Tell us Something page on their website, quoting reference NP-20240109-0809.

Alternatively you can contact independent charity CrimeStoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.