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Sophie Finnegan

Plea for 'dangerous behaviour' to stop after fire engine is egged while responding to blaze in Sunderland

The fire service has issued a plea for "dangerous behaviour" to stop after a fire engine was egged while it responded to a blaze in Sunderland.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said one of their fire engines was egged on December 2 as firefighters were attending a bin shed fire at Hetton Wellness Centre in Sunderland.

In a post on social media, the fire service shared photos showing splattered egg over their vehicle and said although it may seem "harmless" it could cause an accident.

The service said: "On Wednesday a Rainton Bridge fire engine was egged when attending a bin shed fire at Hetton Wellness Centre.

"It might seem like harmless fun but this kind of behaviour can be dangerous and could cause an accident #ShowSomeRespect"

Over Bonfire Night, the fire service appealed for respect after an attack left one firefighter with a hole in his helmet.

Footage from three separate incidents showed fireworks being thrown at the workers by groups of laughing yobs, some of whom can be heard shouting at the firefighters.

Watch Manager James Hewitt previously said: "At the end of the day, we are here to do a job, we just come to work to keep you safe and I think it's fair that while we are at work, we're safe as well for the sake of ourselves and the sake of our families.

"It hasn't only affected him but it's also affected his family. He has children that are the same age as some of you and they are really struggling with the thought of him going to work in case he faces something similar again.

"Because of incidents like this, we now wear body-worn cameras to all incidents we attend.

"We are asking for everybody's sake, please show some respect this Bonfire Night, and stay safe."

Earlier this year, firefighters were attacked by yobs for the second time in over 48 hours in Sunderland.

Youths attacked firefights with stones and threats of violence with the fire service now requiring police assistance when attending certain areas.

Chris Lowther, chief fire officer and chief executive for Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, appealed for violence against emergency service workers to stop.

Mr Lowther said: "As a service, we are here to respond when we are needed. It is absolutely unacceptable that firefighters, who work tirelessly to keep our communities safe, are being attacked in the line of duty.

"We’re seeing attacks on crews happening more often, I don’t want to go to a firefighter’s home and have to tell their family they have been injured in an attack.

"Fortunately, the crew were uninjured last night but we now have a fire appliance unable to respond to emergencies because of the dangerous actions of these individuals.

"Attacks on firefighters has to stop, it’s putting lives at risk."

It comes as ChronicleLive continues to press on with our Justice for Heroes campaign calling for a Government review over the lack of prison sentences handed out to thugs who attack our frontline heroes.

Just one in six assaults on emergency staff have resulted in the attacker being put behind bars in the last 12 months since new tougher sentencing powers came into force.

The Justice for Heroes campaign has already been backed by the trade union, MPs and emergency services, including the North East Ambulance Service which has reported 171 incidents of assaults on its staff to the police over the past three years.

Of those, 40 resulted in criminal convictions but none of them were sentenced to spend time in prison.

UNISON has suggested that these figures are just a fraction of the reality facing our 999 heroes, with scores deciding against reporting acts of violence to the police.

Mr Lowther is also backing the campaign.

He said: "I joined the fire service in the mid-1990s. At that time there were occasional attacks on firefighters, largely around the Bonfire period.

"Today firefighters can suffer attacks any day of the year, any time of the day.

"Any attack on a firefighter or emergency worker is completely unacceptable."

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