Firefighter sustains eye injury in attack

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A firefighter has sustained an eye injury after his engine was attacked in Derry.

He was driving the appliance along the Aileach Road when it came under attack close to the Holy Family Primary School at about 8pm on Thursday night.

Glass fragments flew into the firefighter’s eye. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service said the firefighter, who was treated in hospital, would be off duty as a result of the attack.

Deputy Chief Fire Officer Chris Kerr said: “It is deplorable that a fire crew engaged in protecting the public should be attacked in this manner. A firefighter’s job is an already hazardous one without the added danger and apprehension caused by such attacks.”

He said: “The attack will not deflect us from providing a service to the wider community whose support we enjoy. The potential for our injured colleague to have lost control of the fire appliance he was driving could have had tragic consequences for both the crew and other road users.

“It is sad that after attending over 2000 incidents during the recent wildfire period without serious injury to our staff, we should have a firefighter injured in such an attack. I would appeal to those with influence in the wider community to assist us to prevent such attacks and to demonstrate their continued support for their Fire and Rescue Service.”

The attack resulted in the fire appliance being taken out of service, temporarily reducing the level of emergency cover in the city.