Firefighters and staff have been praised for keeping communities across Tyne and Wear safe this Bonfire Night.
Senior officers at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) have revealed the busy Bonfire weekend passed without serious incident.
TWFRS saw a 1.1% decrease of total incidents from the 1st to the 6th November (Bonfire reporting period) across Tyne & Wear compared with the same time last year.
Pockets of anti-social behaviour, and calls about illegal bonfires, meant it was still a busy night for firefighters and Fire Control staff.
But TWFRS Control still received 371 emergency calls on November 5th alone – an increase on last year, which recorded 356 calls.
That included over 170 calls about potentially dangerous bonfires; as a Service we’ve received no reports of any members of the public being seriously injured.
Other information: TWFRS experienced 183 deliberate secondary fires during the bonfire reporting period 1st – 6th November, across Tyne & Wear compared to 178 incidents in 2021 an increase of 2.8%.
Unfortunately between 1st – 6th November, the Service attended 7 incidents where firefighting crews were attacked while performing their duties, a 40% increase against the same period last year.
Today (Monday) a senior officer at the Service has praised staff but also thanked the community for showing them support.
Area Manager Richie Rickaby said: “We would like to applaud all of our staff and crews for their effort and commitment throughout the Bonfire Night season and beyond.
“As ever risking their lives to protect the lives of others. This message of thanks transcends over to our blue light colleagues and partners across the region.”
AM Rickaby reflects on the attacks on firefighters. He said:
“We will never condone the deliberate and malicious actions of a minority of the local community, who take it upon themselves to provoke and attack the very people who are there to protect them. This shouldn’t eclipse the tremendous work that was delivered with schools and groups across the region that produced some wonderful results.”
Leading up to the Bonfire weekend, TWFRS had been running a hard-hitting Darker Nights campaign offering crucial community safety advice.
This saw Prevention and Education staff and Firefighters deliver bespoke lessons to schools with support from partners.
Thousands of children received vital life-saving advice as members of TWFRS attended 57 schools across the region.
AM Rickaby added: “Our hard hitting Darker Nights campaign definitely hit a raw nerve as the graphic imagery showed the potential serious injuries and disfigurement that some young people could experience if they were to start deliberate fires, and the effects it could have not only on themselves, but on their family and friends.
“We all have to appreciate that if we do something wrong then there are sometimes horrific consequences that we have to endure.
“In this case saying to young people they wouldn’t being able to do the things that they enjoy the most like, playing computer games and on their mobile phones due to the life-changing injuries they may sustain.
“This was part of the important key messages that we were able to successfully share through our leaflets, social media and face-to-face communications with thousands of students across Tyne and Wear.
“The Service would like to thank our partners and colleagues for their support throughout the Darker Nights campaign, which will continue in to the winter months ahead.”
Throughout the Darker Nights campaign TWFRS worked in partnership with Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service.
They also worked with other strategic partners including all of the local authorities in Tyne and Wear, the Office of the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Kim McGuinness, Nexus and regional housing associations such as Your Homes Newcastle and Gentoo.
If you have any important information about deliberate fires being started in your local community – you can report the details anonymously by calling Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558 or by reporting it through their website www.firestoppersreport.co.uk