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Let us do our job, firefighters plead

By Alistair Whitfield


FIRE engines mobilised almost 1500 times leading up to Bonfire Night last year due to deliberate blazes across Scotland.

As a result the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service is now appealing for perpetrators not to put its crews and the public at risk again.

Assistant Chief Officer Ross Haggart said: "Our firefighters and fire appliances are being mobilised to hundreds of completely avoidable incidents every year during the Bonfire Night period.

"A small minority of individuals are potentially putting themselves, our firefighters and innocent bystanders at risk of serious harm and injury.

"These incidents are a needless drain on our resources when we need to focus on responding to real emergencies where lives might very well be at risk."

Last year crews across Scotland clocked more than 24 hours attending the scene of deliberate fires every day during the month leading up to November 5

Engines mobilised from stations more than 60 occasions each day on average.

Furthermore, firefighters responded to 338 fires on November 5 alone, with control rooms handling more than 700 phone calls from the public.

ACO Haggart continued: "We make every effort to reach out to young people and provide them with a real insight into the potentially devastating consequences of fire.

"We will continue to remind people that deliberate fire setting is a crime and that a criminal record can affect future life and job opportunities – a price that can be easily avoided."

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