Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) has issued a warning of the consequences for people who attack firefighters while they carry out their life saving work following attacks over the weekend.
Fire officers joined Northumbria Police in warning that anyone caught assaulting firefighters will be investigated and prosecuted.
The warning comes after youths threw bottles and other objects at firefighters tackling a fire in a wheelie bin at a skate park in Blakelaw, Newcastle, last Saturday night. One firefighter was struck five times by the missiles and suffered a minor injury.
Assistant Chief Fire Officer at TWFRS Chris Lowther said: “We will not tolerate any verbal or physical attacks on our staff. Thankfully our firefighter was not seriously injured in the incident in Blakelaw but throwing objects at our crews clearly has the potential to cause serious harm. That is totally unacceptable and we will work with our partners in the police to ensure the people responsible are brought to justice.
“Attacks on crews not only hinder them from fulfilling their role to make our communities safe but also risk putting emergency equipment out of action which could be needed to save a life at any time.
“The safety of our firefighters is of primary importance, and whilst attacks on our staff are rare, we will do everything to protect our staff and have CCTV fitted to every fire appliance. We will use this evidence for prosecutions of anyone who targets our staff.”
Northumbria Police Chief Inspector Steve Hails added that both covert and overt patrols would be increasing ahead of Halloween and Bonfire Night and urged anyone involved in "pranks" against firefighters to think twice about the potentially criminal consequences of their actions.
Celebrate TWFRS being nominated for 'Emergency Services Partnership of the Year' at the 2015 Excellence in Fire and Emergency Award by booking your place at One Great George Street on 4 December at www.fire-magazine.com/fire-event/efe-awards-2015