Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service has condemned a group of youths who attacked firefighters in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent last night.
"I would urge anyone who has any information on this incident to contact Crimestoppers or the police."
Area Commander for Stoke-on-Trent, Wayne Bowcock
A crew on Hanley’s targeted response vehicle were sent to a rubbish fire next to the disused Bell and Bear Public House on Stoke Road, Shelton shortly after 6.30pm last night. When firefighters arrived and got off the appliance they were immediately attacked by a group of over 20 youths who threw fireworks, stones and bottles at them and the vehicle. The firefighters got back onto the appliance and had to delay their firefighting due to the attack. In fear for their own safety they requested assistance from the police and further fire crews, at which point the youths dispersed.
Area Commander for Stoke-on-Trent, Wayne Bowcock said: “The attack was unbelievable. The crew that attended the emergency call are all dedicated professionals who are proud that they save lives and property in Stoke-on-Trent and so they are all angry and shocked that they were subjected to such a spineless attack, particularly in an area where we have good relationships with the local community.
“This shameful and cowardly attack really does make us wonder what the perpetrators would think of their behaviour if their friends or family ever have the misfortune to need the help of the fire and rescue service in an emergency.
“All of our appliances are fitted with CCTV cameras to protect our crews and we will be liaising with the police to try and catch the people responsible. I would urge anyone who has any information on this incident to contact Crimestoppers or the police.”
None of the firefighters were injured however the paintwork on the vehicle has been damaged and some dents have been caused by the objects thrown. This attack comes exactly a week after firefighters crewing the same vehicle were attacked by youths in Bentilee, Stoke-on-Trent.
Anyone with information on either of the incidents is urged to contact Staffordshire Police on 0300 123 4455 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.