"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

"Heroes with grimy faces" - Sir Winston Churchill

January 03, 2008

FIREFIGHTER ATTACKS

UPDATED FEBRUARY 2008


The Fire Bridages Union released an independent report entitled ``Easy Targets'' that said there are at least 40 gang attacks on fire crews every week in the UK - and that under-reporting could mean the figure is much higher.

Firefighters are ``being pelted with bricks, bottles, and stones as they fight fires,'' the union said in a press release. ``Other incidents include ambushes, booby traps and being attacked with lumps of wood, knives and a petrol bomb.''

What's more, in some communities, ``abuse, threats and attacks are so frequent they are no longer reported,'' the union said. The Tyne and Wear fire authority, for example, issued ``spit kits'' to fire crews to collect DNA from gang members.

Matt Wrack, general secretary of the union, said: “Frustration, boredom, alcohol and drug use can all fuel the problems of youngsters living in communities and on estates they feel are on the margins of society. The outcome can be recreational violence.''

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Evening News of Edinburgh - Feb. 29, 2008

``FIRE chiefs today hit out at 'mindless and idiotic' yobs who have hurled burning missiles, glass and bricks at crews in four separate attacks this month.

``In one attack, a firefighter was so badly injured by a brick he had to be stood down for the night, forcing the entire crew off duty due to safety regulations.

``On another call out, the firefighters were chased from one retreat position to the next.''