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Last Updated: Monday April 18 2005 08:55 GMT

Firefighters' plea to stop abuse

Firefighter
Firefighters say their lives are being put at risk by people attacking them, with around 40 incidents each week.

The research for the Fire Brigades Unions claims attacks are on the increase, with some emergency calls turning out to be ambushes.

Bricks and bottles have also been thrown at crews, and scaffolding poles smashed through windscreens.

Fire Brigades Union spokesperson Andy Gilchrist has called for urgent action to help keep firefighters safe.

The FBU said 1,200 attacks had been reported in Northern Ireland in the last three years, and 388 attacks had been reported in Scotland in 2004.

In England and Wales, in the nine months running up to the end of January 2005, 18 of 50 fire brigades reported 393 attacks.

'Inexcusable'

Fire Brigades Union spokesperson Andy Gilchrist said he was worried a firefighter might end up getting killed: "These attacks are inexcusable and must not be tolerated.

"It can never be part of anyone's job to get a brick or bottle in the head or to be spat at," he said.



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