Fire crews receive abuse after attending hoax call

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The chief fire officer of Northamptonshire has condemned the ‘unacceptable’ verbal abuse that crews received in Kettering last night after attending a hoax call.

False alarms that are called in maliciously waste valuable time and potentially divert resources away from real emergencies where lives could be at risk.

At 8.24pm yesterday (June 14) two engines from Kettering and a further appliance from Rothwell were called to reports that a building was on fire on the High Street. But after a thorough search of a three-storey building and using thermal imaging cameras to detect any signs of a blaze, it became apparent that there was no signs of a fire and that the call had been a hoax.

Approximately six teenagers were in the vicinity of where the crews had been called to, and after rudely shouting at them they then threw objects at one of the appliances. Thankfully the fire engine did not sustain any damage.

Chief fire officer Darren Dovey has made it clear that abuse of his firefighters cannot be tolerated. Posting on Twitter he said: “This is absolutely unacceptable, we will push for maximum punishments for anyone that attacks my firefighters.”

As well as the three fire engines – a special officer with the fire service, two ambulances and a police car also had more than an hour of their time wasted dealing with this needless incident.

Nick Gayton, a station commander at Mereway Fire Station, attended the incident and added: “For fire crews to suffer both verbal abuse and having projectiles thrown at us is just not on. We are there to help people and this kind of behaviour stops us from doing that.”

If you have any information on the incident which occurred in Kettering last night, please call 101 or you can report anonymously to FireStoppers on 0800 169 5558 or www.firestoppersreport.co.uk

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