Any emergency service worker being attacked as they go about their work is clearly wrong and won’t be tolerated.
It is a serious issue, but we are fortunate as a service that incidents are fairly low in number when you consider the thousands of incidents we attend each year.
However, we and our Fire Authority will work closely with the police to bring culprits to justice. In serious cases you can go to jail.
Whilst most of the incidents we record are verbal, this can still be intimidating for our crews who are simply trying to do their job and safely resolve an emergency.
But we’ve also recorded instances of objects being thrown, threatening behaviour and even cases where weapons have been present.
We have a reporting system so our staff can let us know of instances, meaning we can identify hot spots and enabling local Station Commanders to work with their local contacts to try to resolve things.
We can also use our data to highlight ‘problem’ locations to our crews before they arrive and, if absolutely necessary, call for urgent assistance from the police.
We run awareness sessions for our trainee firefighters and an online course for all of our staff on managing difficult situations.
We will support our staff in every way we can if ever they’re unfortunate enough to be attacked and a case goes to court. And we have a wide range of other support we can provide, including counselling and the services of our Occupational Health team.
The National Fire Chiefs Council has also called for increased custodial sentences for those who commit attacks against firefighters, citing a 4% increase in attacks in England. Read their full statement here: https://nfcc.org.uk/attacks-on-firefighters-are-at-their-highest-since-records-began/