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Chief declares zero tolerance following physical attack on Eastbourne firefighters

Date : 03 December 2019


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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service Chief Dawn Whittaker has declared ‘zero tolerance’ on any physical, or verbal, attacks on firefighters.

This follows an incident yesterday (2 December) when firefighters were sent to Play Park, Larkspur Drive, in Eastbourne, after reports of a fire in the open at 18.11.

The crew were forced to call in support from Sussex Police when tackling the fire, as they were being both verbally and physical assaulted by a group of young people.

Stones and planks of wood were being thrown and one firefighter was hit by one of the stones.

Dawn Whittaker said: “I am absolutely disgusted by the fact that our Eastbourne crew were both verbally and physically attacked by a group of young people last night when attending a tree fire. I want to be very clear that this type of violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at any level. If any incidents such as this occurs in the future we will not hesitate in contacting the police.

“One of our firefighters was taken to hospital, after a stone hit him on the head. It’s just shocking that people want to harm the very people that risk their lives to keep them safe….very sad.

“The Service welcomed the introduction of the Assaults on Emergency Workers (Offences) Act 2018 and we encourage all staff of East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service to report any incidents where they feel threatened or at risk and as a service we will support efforts to bring prosecutions to help protect our staff.”

Help us to stamp out this type of social behaviour and if you have any information about the above event, please report this, as we have now passed this matter to Sussex Police.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or who may have any further information, should report to Sussex Police online or call 101 quoting serial 1134 of 02/12.

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