Bonfire Night: Firefighters attacked as they attend over 350 bonfires across Scotland

Firefighters across Scotland suffered several attacks as they dealt with more than 350 bonfires on their busiest night of the year.

Figures released by the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reveal fire crews attended approximately 359 bonfires across the country between 3.30pm and 11.30pm on Tuesday, November 5.

SFRS Operations Control handled 882 calls from members of the public.

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Attacks on Scots emergency fire crews soar 36% in a year
Attacks on Scottish firefighters are increasing. Picture: JPIMedia/John Devlin

Attacks on firefighters responding to emergency call-outs reached a four-year high in four regions of Scotland (Glasgow, Edinburgh, West Lothian and East Dunbartonshire) with 23 attacks so far in 2019 prior to Bonfire Night.

Last week, The Scotsman, reported the total number of attacks across the country – including objects being thrown, physical abuse and other acts of aggression aimed at crews – rose by a third (36 per cent) in 2018/19, with 72 reported. Firefighters were injured in two cases.

Assistant Chief Officer John Dickie is the SFRS Director of Response and Resilience said: “Bonfire Night is our busiest night of the year by far, and indeed it tops off one of our busiest four-week periods in the year.

“In addition to attending the numerous deliberate fires and bonfires, our firefighters continued to respond to the full range of emergencies we face day-to-day.

“Our frontline crews and Operations Control personnel and support staff have shown extreme dedication over this period and I would like to pay tribute to their professionalism, skill and hard work which enabled them to help protect communities.

“In addition, I must thank our partners and indeed communities across Scotland for their assistance and support.”

In total, the fire service attended 665 incidents over the course of the night.

He added: "Any number of attacks on emergency service responders is completely unacceptable.

“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues including the police when they have to escort us at the scene.

"We would like to thank our partners and the clear majority of the law-abiding public for their support and we hope that they had a safe and enjoyable bonfire night."