Attacks on Fife firefighters spark '˜zero tolerance' warning

A Fife fire officer has warned that attacks on innocent firefighters will not be tolerated after local crews were targeted.

Firefighters attending incidents in the Levenmouth area have come under fire in recent weeks while trying to protect their communities.

The attacks have left Station Manager, Steven Michie, exasperated – and he has warned that the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service will take a zero tolerance approach to such incidents.

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His warning comes as the emergency service launches its hard-hitting #DoNotAttackMe campaign – condemning the abuse of firefighters working hard to protect communities.

Station Manager Michie said: “Attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable and I am sure the public would be outraged by incidents where their firefighters have been targeted while working to protect people and property.

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“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.

“But be left in absolutely no doubt that it is often down to a very small minority of individuals within those communities.

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“The safety and welfare of our staff is of paramount importance to the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

“With that in mind, I would like to take this opportunity to stress once again that violence against our crews will not be tolerated because our firefighters absolutely do not deserve to be met with such behaviour.”

Some of the unsavoury incidents have taken place while firefighters have attended deliberate fires.

The Levenmouth area has seen a recent rise in deliberate fires and, in an effort to protect their communities, crews have teamed up with their local partners.

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Firefighters have joined forces with Police Scotland and Fife Council to engage with members of the community to educate them on the dangers and consequences of deliberately setting a fire.

Station Manager Michie explained: “Those who start fires need to be aware their reckless actions can have serious consequences.

“Individuals who start fires risk their own safety, the safety of firefighters and the safety of our communities.

“We will continue to work with our partners to help educate those responsible. While the vast majority of our communities will be appalled by such behaviour, we will always take a zero tolerance approach towards those who set deliberate fires.”

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Inspector Tom Brown said: “Any incident where firefighters are targeted and abused will not be tolerated. We will support our colleagues from Methil Fire Station in investigating any incidents that do take place.”