SENIOR fire officers have condemned verbal attacks on firefighters after a gang hurled abuse at a crew fighting a fire in Tredegar.

Chief Fire Officer Huw Jakeway, of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said attacks like the latest which happened at a skate park near Tesco Express in the Gwent Shopping Centre are ‘totally unacceptable.’

A Tredegar-based crew was tackling a deliberately-lit refuse fire just after 10pm on Friday of last week when a gang of male and female youths aged between 15 and 18 started verbally abusing them. The crew had to call Gwent Police for assistance and put out the blaze in 20 minutes.

One of the teenagers later returned to the scene to apologise to the firefighters.

The attack comes just weeks after the launch of the ‘we can’t protect while we are under attack’ campaign.

Chief Fire officer Huw Jakeway said: “ It is absolutely beyond belief that our firefighters are being attacked while trying to save lives.”

Mike Adams, Police Sergeant, fire crime unit said all fire engines within the area have been fitted with 360 degree digital CCTV which will enable the service to record footage of any attacks on firefighrers, which can then be used to prosecute any offenders.