Newcastle firefighter shares near-death experience after scaffolding pole is thrown at fire truck

A Newcastle firefighter said he could have been killed after a scaffolding pole was deliberately thrown into the windshield of a fire engine.

Surveillance Director Graeme MacDonald was on his way to an accident in Walker with his team from the Byker Community Fire Hall when they were the target of a vicious attack.

The incident, which took place in the early hours of August 31, 2019, saw a 12-inch scaffolding pole smashing the glass of the fire truck.

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The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service engine had its blue lights and fully operational sirens when the cowardly act took place.

The crew responded to a report that people were trapped inside a car that had overturned on its roof in a collision.

Watch Manager Graeme, who was in the taxi at the time of the incident, said: “I could have been killed or seriously injured.”

Ashington’s 36-year-old father has warned that attacks on emergency services are “not a game” and have consequences.

His warning precedes Bonfire Night on November 5, when incidents of antisocial behavior and attacks on firefighters are rampant.



Damage to the windshield of a Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue engine after a twelve inch scaffold bar was thrown on the windshield.

“Think about what you do before you act: at the end of the day, I want to go home and see my family,” Graeme said.

“I am married with children and want to return safely to my wife, son and daughter.

“I also want to make sure my crew is also safe.

“It’s not a game. It’s not fun.

“Incidents of antisocial behavior have important implications and what these people do has a real effect on people’s work and family lives.

“Not only does their actions have consequences, but it also means that the fire truck is not available to attend other incidents. It also has financial implications for the public. “



Graeme MacDonald, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Watch Manager, holding a twelve-inch metal scaffold bar like the one thrown at the fire truck.
Graeme MacDonald, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service Watchdog, holding a twelve-inch metal scaffold bar like the one thrown at the fire truck.

He continued, “The incident I was involved in has stuck with me, and I wouldn’t want other crews across the country to go through the same ordeal.”

The Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said that since the start of 2021 there have been 50 attacks on their firefighters.

Graeme, who has served with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service for more than 11 years, said firefighters come to work to protect the community, not to be attacked.

He said: “Go to an organized event and don’t engage in any anti-social behavior – especially attacks on firefighters and other emergency service personnel because you never know when you might need our help. aid.”

Deputy Fire Chief Peter Heath of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said those responsible for violence against crews would be brought to justice.

“Any attack on firefighters and other colleagues in the emergency services on a bonfire night or any other night of the year is unacceptable,” he said.

“We are not just talking about a person who risks their life day after day.

“We are talking about a real person – a loved one – who wants to serve their community and return home safely from work.

“Firefighters, like all other rescuers, should be treated with respect and dignity, as they deserve.

“These acts of violence against our crews will not be tolerated and the individuals responsible for these acts will be brought to justice with the help of our partners.

“Please be careful this bonfire night and acknowledge the work and commitment of the emergency services to protect you all from harm.”

If you have important information about deliberate fires started in your local community, you can report the details anonymously by calling Firestoppers on 0800 169 5558 or reporting through their website www.firestoppersreport.co.uk

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