Fire deaths in the west of Scotland were slashed by 55-per cent last year as attacks on firefighters continued to rise. The number of fatalities in Strathclyde fell from 36 to 16 during 2006/07, as the number of deaths across the country dropped to the lowest recorded level. But figures show crews endured 171 attacks, ranging from armed assaults to verbal abuse, as they attended emergencies in and around Glasgow.
The shameful total was up five on last year's figure despite an awareness campaign targeting schools and young people.
Crews came under attack from missiles on 110 occasions, endured 25 assaults, and 32 cases of verbal intimidation.
Across Scotland, the number of deaths fell by more than 26-per cent during the same period, down from 61 to 45, and attacks fell from 324 to 316.
A lack of a working smoke alarm and alcohol abuse were factors in 50-per cent of deaths, said the Fire Services Annual Report.
Jeff Ord, HM Chief Inspector of Fire Services in Scotland, said: "On more than 300 occasions members of the service were subjected to physical or verbal abuse.
"This is completely unacceptable.
"The reduction in fire deaths to the lowest level ever recorded is welcomed.
"Notwithstanding the positive figures, I am still disappointed to note the lack of a working smoke alarm was a factor in around 50- per cent of fatal fires."
Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.
(c) 2007 Evening Times; Glasgow (UK). Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.
Written by Jonathan Paisley
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