Shocking Attacks on Scotland’s Fire Crews Mark an Increase in Bonfire Night Incidents

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) received 1,100 calls between 3.30pm and 11.30 pm on Bonfire Night, 5th of November.

This included call outs to attend to 511 bonfires and shockingly our firefighters were subject to attacks.

12 reports of attacks on fire crews have been recorded for that one night.

Assistant Chief Officer Stuart Stevens, SFRS Director of Service Delivery, said:

“Bonfire Night is traditionally one of our busiest night of the year.

“Our frontline crews and Operations Control personnel and support staff have shown extreme dedication over this period and I would like to pay tribute to their professionalism and resilience.

“I must also thank our partners and indeed communities across Scotland for their continuing support. 

“Attacks on emergency service workers are completely unacceptable.  

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion, but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues including the police when they must escort us at the scene. 

“This type of behaviour is, of course, carried out by a very small minority and we once again thank our communities for their continuing support and working together with us to stay safe.”  

Libby Logan, SFRS Area Commander for Operations Control, added:

“This was a busy and challenging evening, but I would like to praise our Operations Control staff who have once again worked tirelessly to ensure we respond to those who need us the most. 

“Their dedication has allowed us to meet this challenge and continue to protect communities throughout Bonfire Night.”

The regulations on the sale and use of fireworks is subject to a review in Scotland although it is one of the categories which straddles the devolved agreement with only limited power over fireworks resting with the Scottish Parliament. The UK Parliament has the ultimate say on the sale of fireworks.

The Scottish Government’s independent Firework Review Group has published its findings.: Firework Review Group.

Amongst its recommendations are:

  • the introduction of mandatory conditions when fireworks are purchased from retailers
  • restricting the times of day fireworks can be sold and volume of fireworks that can be purchased at any one time
  • restricting the days and times fireworks can be set off
  • the introduction of no firework areas or zones
  • the creation of a proxy purchasing offence to prevent adults from buying fireworks on behalf of those under the age of 18

It has the support of many community groups and organisations including the British Veterinary Association. Vets Back Recommendations on Limiting Fireworks Use & Sale

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