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Chief: Firemen receiving verbal threats

rhondathompson, [email protected]

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SOME MEMBERS of the public have been threatening fire officers to the point where they fear for their own safety at some fire scenes.
In a telephone interview yesterday, acting Chief Fire Officer Wilfred Marshall said there had been at least two reports of verbal abuse at fire scenes recently, adding that his officers needed to focus on the job at hand and not be distracted.
“Ever since [the fatal September 3 Tudor Street fire] there have been negative comments about us on call-in programmes.
 on at least two occasions, in St Michael and Christ Church, we have had some hostile remarks made to officers as they responded to fires and some officers have been scared by some of those remarks.
“We understand the situation; we are trying to be professional and we are asking people to also be understanding to the circumstances we operate in. When we are called to a fire, we cannot be distracted and looking over our shoulder at people making threats. Let us focus on the mission, which is fighting the fire,” he said.
Marshall said they had reported those incidents to the police. He said they had no desire to antagonise the situation but reminded the public that a police escort was standard operating procedure when responding to a fire. (CA)