Fire Authority Chair condemns attack

The Chair of Cleveland Fire Authority has condemned recent attacks on emergency workers. After the recent incident where youths, one armed with a pointed blade, surrounded police, ambulance and fire crews as they attended an injured casualty near Saltburn viaduct, Cllr Paul Kirton said:

“I am appalled by the fact that certain members of the public feel it is acceptable to stop firefighters and other emergency worker doing their job. They should realise that it could be their family or friends we are being called to assist.

A 16-year-old boy from the Skelton area was given a four month referral order and must pay £50 compensation to a Cleveland Police Officer after he appeared at Teesside Magistrates Court He was charged with possessing a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place, public order and assault on an emergency worker.

The charges followed an incident on Monday 8th June around 7:30pm near to Saltburn viaduct when colleagues from Cleveland Fire Brigade and the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) were called to treat a man who had fallen and broken his leg. It was reported to police that a group of youths had become aggressive and abusive towards the emergency services on scene and were swearing at them in front of passing families with young children.

The group of male youths had reportedly thrown alcohol at the emergency services staff as they tried to treat the patient. Cllr Kirton added: We are disappointed with the level of sentencing issued to the individual concerned and fully support protecting our firefighters, who do a sterling job to protect us as members of the community.

We are calling on everyone to take a zero tolerance approach to attacks on emergency service workers, and for everyone show the due respect that they deserve. Chief Fire Officer Ian Hayton, from Cleveland Fire Brigade, said: “Bringing this case to court sends out a clear message that this criminal and irresponsible behaviour will not be tolerated. It is completely unacceptable for firefighters and our colleagues in other emergency services to be subject to any violence, we are here to protect and help our local communities.

These thoughtless actions of a minority indicates an individual’s total lack of respect for anything or anyone, puts firefighters at risk of injury and could prevent us from attending life-saving incidents where we need to rescue people. “We join our colleagues in other emergency services in condemning these actions. Our fire engines are fitted with CCTV and staff have ‘body cams’, as we have done here we provide footage to support the police prosecutions.”