Firefighters speak out about vile attacks on emergency services

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Local firefighters have spoken out about the impact of having stones and bricks thrown at them when responding to incidents.

As part of its autumn safety campaign and following a recent spate of firefighter attacks, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service (GMFRS) has released a video featuring personal experiences of firefighters who have been targeted while protecting the community.

In the video, firefighters talk about the impact of these incidents, which potentially put people’s lives at risk.

Crew Manager Pete Wilmot said: “When you get attacked it’s frustrating. We’re only there to put fires out so people don’t get hurt.

“We’re just normal people that want to go home to our families.

“It is becoming more common and it does make my crew quite angry.

“It’s upsetting sometimes.”

The video has been launched as part of GMFRS’s annual autumn safety campaign, Treacle – a multi-agency Halloween and Bonfire Night campaign that runs to Monday November 6.

There have been a spate of attacks on firefighters in Greater Manchester in the past few weeks, including several in Leigh.

There was also one last Tuesday at 7.58pm, crews were called to an incident in Holmes House Avenue, Winstanley. Wheelie bins were set on fire and once again, while firefighters were dealing with the incident a large group of youths threw sticks and fireworks at them.

Group manager for Bolton and Wigan, Lee Coleman, said: “We are seeing an increase in attacks on our firefighters, particularly in Bolton and Wigan and we are doing everything we can with our partners to identify those involved.

“All our fire appliances have 360 degree CCTV cameras and crew in Bolton and Wigan are now trialling body worn cameras that allow us to record incidents that occur away from fire engines.

“Any footage that captures attacks on our crews will be handed to the police and people can be prosecuted.”