Glasgow & West Scotland

Firefighter death warning after crew attack in Airdrie

Fire engine (generic)
Image caption The fire appliance involved has been taken off the road until repairs are carried out

It is only a matter of time before a firefighter is seriously hurt or killed, according to a leading officer at Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.

The warning comes after a fire engine and crew came under attack from youths throwing stones as they tackled a blaze in Airdrie in North Lanarkshire.

The £250,000 appliance had to be taken out of service after being damaged in the incident.

It is the second attack of its kind in the area in less than a month.

The latest incident happened on Sunday night as an appliance from Coatbridge attended a fire in Hillfoot Road, Airdrie.

The rear window of the vehicle was smashed and the grille damaged.

Assistant Chief Officer David Goodhew said: "Firefighters risk their lives to protect the communities they serve, and it is despicable that a small, isolated minority of those very communities choose to attack them.

"These mindless attacks put firefighters in harm's way unnecessarily, and it's only a matter of time before a firefighter is badly injured, or even killed, in one of these incidents."

Higher risk

Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said it operated a "zero tolerance" policy to those who attack firefighters and would work closely with the police to identify anyone involved.

Mr Goodhew added: "Aside from the human cost of these attacks, there are wider consequences.

"Fire appliances cost around £250,000 each, and having these invaluable pieces of equipment put out of commission while being repaired after an act of vandalism puts the community at a whole at a higher risk from fire."

"Our message is simple; if you attack our crews, the authorities will find you, you will be prosecuted and you will feel the full force of the law."

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