Firefighters deal with fewer incidents over Bonfire weekend

The total number of incidents dealt with by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service over the Bonfire weekend were down by 40% compared to 2017.

Firefighters equip themselves beside a fire engine

Bonfire night itself saw our Control Room deal with 564 calls and since November 1 we handled 960 calls in total.

TWFRS Chief Fire Officer Chris Lowther said: “I’d like to thank our firefighters for their hard work and professionalism throughout the Bonfire weekend and in the weeks in the run up. They have continued to keep our communities safe – sometimes under extreme challenges.

“I’d like to thank our Control Room staff who were able to assist our crews on the ground by managing calls on the busiest evening over the Bonfire weekend. They went back to callers to check on the status and seriousness of fires before sending out crews, making sure life safety was our priority.

“I’d also like to thank our partner agencies and local schools across Tyne and Wear for their support in communicating important safety advice which has obviously had a very positive impact on the number of incidents we were required to attend.”

According to the latest data available to us no injuries from fireworks or bonfires have been reported.

Sadly crews continued to experience attacks both physical and verbal over the Bonfire period. As well as attacks in Southwick on Monday night there were other incidents including a punch being thrown at a firefighter in Byker – fortunately they were not injured.

TWFRS Assistant Chief Fire Office Alan Robson said: “It is totally unacceptable that firefighters were subject to verbal and physical abuse whilst carrying out their duties over the Bonfire weekend. In one particular incident, while responding to a report of a car fire; our firefighters were subject to missiles and fireworks being thrown at them. This is extremely dangerous and reckless.

“Thankfully, no one was injured. However, our firefighters should not have to tolerate abuse whilst they are working to protect our local communities on any night of the year. These attacks not only hinder our firefighters from fulfilling their duties, but also risk putting emergency equipment out of action, which could be needed to save lives at any time.”

Since 1 November to 5 November 2018:

  • Total number of incidents 395
  • Total number of calls 960
  • Primary fires 31
  • Secondary rubbish fires 155
  • Wheelie bin fires 26