Areas of East Lancashire have been identified as hotspots which have an increase in anti-social behaviour and attacks on emergency service workers in the lead up to Bonfire Night. 

As a result, a multi-agency response is to be implemented across those areas, to help free up crews for other incidents and reduce the demand on all three services. 

Burnley, Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn, Pendle and Preston have been identified as key areas as a result of a large increase in anti-social behaviour in previous years, with emergency services responding to incidents in those areas together in a bid to reduce demand on the three services in the lead up to Bonfire Night.

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service (LFRS), Lancashire Constabulary and North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) will work together to provide a joint response in these areas of Lancashire where they can assist collaboratively with incidents such as fires with casualties, road traffic collisions, assaults and medical emergencies where forced entry to a property is required.

A multi-agency vehicle will be used which will be crewed by trained operational commanders from fire and police.

They will respond to incidents where the team can carry out a multi-agency scene assessment, determine the level of resources required, ensuring scene and responder safety and provide specialist support.

The team is expected to deploy to any relevant incident where at least a dual service response is required.

Tom Cookson, group manager and head of emergency planning at Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “During high profile events such as bonfire night, the demand on emergency services tends to increase.

"Locally-based responders working together can provide lifesaving interventions at emergencies, and in some instances reduce the number of resources needed at a scene, allowing resources to attend the incidents they are most needed.”

This multi-agency vehicle has been used previously and was found to be successful, with the initial trial taking pace in 2017.

The collaboration meant that crews managed unnecessary incident attendance and improved time scales of crews that would usually be detained at a scene, supported on-scene commanders, offer specialised support, and provided lifesaving interventions and assessment.

In 2022, LFRS responded to 158 incidents on bonfire night, and 59 of those incidents were dealt with by the multi-agency vehicles, freeing up vital resources to respond to other incidents.

The six multi-agency vehicles will be operating around areas of Lancashire on November 3, 4, and 5.

Kathryn McIntyre, neighbourhood inspector for Blackburn with Darwen, said: “Working closely with partners is crucial in our day-to-day work, but particularly when there are events such as bonfire night due to the increased demand on our services.

“This year we will once again be ready to keep the people of East Lancashire safe and respond to any emergencies reported to us.

"Being able to carry out multi-agency assessments on-scene will hopefully reduce the number of resources required on the night.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service will be hosting a Bonfire Night event at the service training centre in Chorley on Friday, November 3 at 6.30pm.

There will be hot food, a roaring bonfire, a family friendly quiet firework display with music and a fire engine tour.

All proceeds from the event will go to The Firefighters Charity and Leeds Hospitals Charity.

For more information on booking tickets, visit the Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service Official Facebook page or website.