A firefighter was shot in the face with a ballbearing gun by a boy under the age of ten in Bradford, a new report has revealed.
A meeting of West Yorkshire Fire Authority has been told police had investigated the incident and identified the child involved.
Its adds: “They are working with the parents as the boy is below the age of criminal responsibility.”
The report also revealed the scale of attacks on crews in the Fairweather Green area, with five incidents in a nine-month period – accounting for half of reports in the Bradford area.
These include the shooting, a missile and firework being thrown and two incident of rocks being hurled at firefighters in the course of their duty.
Across Bradford’s fire stations, there were a total of ten incidents recorded during the same period, with a spate around Bonfire Night last year.
The report said: “Four incidents were reported in the month of November, largely related to Bonfire Night, but none were reported in December.
“There were three attacks on Bonfire Night – in Bradford, Fairweather Green and Keighley, none of which resulted in any injuries. On each occasion the police were informed and attended.
“In Keighley this resulted in the arrest of three youths who were held overnight in cells. While none of the cases has led to a prosecution, there have been no further attacks in these areas.”
The meeting heard that the number of attacks across West Yorkshire Fire Service’s area had fallen, with 31 incidents reported in total over nine months.
But the report added: “There is a danger that the frequency and severity of just 31 attacks out of 25,821 attendances may seem insignificant when considering these very small percentages, and although the number of attacks on firefighters has reduced, the Chief Fire Officer has re-emphasised that even one attack is one too many and that every assistance and encouragement will be given to the police to bring offenders to court.
“Work is continuing with a variety of agencies from the police and district councils to community groups and youth leaders to address these issues.”
Lee Indriks, Bradford divisional secretary for the Fire Brigades Union, said: “The firefighter could have been hit in the eye and could have lost their sight.
“Verbal and physical attacks have always been issues attached to firefighters and the Bradford region is particularly bad. It is an unfortunate all-too-common occurence in Bradford.
“We would like to get across to people that we are out there trying to help, putting out fires and rescuing people.
“We could really do without this sort of thing - it is a sad state of affairs.”