The Yorkshire Post says: Why fire crews are heroes worth fighting to protect - not abuse

THIS country will always be in the debt of those firefighters, and other members of the emergency services, who risked their lives to rescue scores of stricken residents trapped inside the Grenfell Tower inferno.

Fire crews

Their bravery and professionalism was exemplary as this tragedy unfolded.

It’s all the more regrettable that new schools are not being automatically fitted with sprinklers. It’s also a sad reflection of modern society that Yorkshire firefighters

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have been subjected to 300 cases of physical or verbal abuse in the past three years, including live fireworks being launched at them.

As such, it’s imperative that the perpetrators receive the full force of the new ‘Protect the Protectors’ law, instigated by Halifax MP Holly Lynch, when it comes into effect – the country’s 999 heroes deserve nothing less.Yet, just like all aspects of the public sector, fire and rescue services have not been immune from the spending squeeze, and the Local Government Association today reveals the extent to which Britain’s changing demographics are presenting new challenges.

It reveals a 22 per cent increase in the last two years in the number of fire-related deaths involving those aged over 65 and fears this toll will only rise, still further, unless there continues to be a focus on public safety initiatives to minimise the risks.

Just as positive policing is about the prevention of crime, the same is equally applicable to the work of firefighters, hence why it is short-sighted to arbitrarily measure the need for crews solely on the number of emergencies that they do answer each year.