Firefighter injured after firework thrown by thugs gets 'lodged inside his helmet'

WM Paul Marston was left with only minor burns. (GMFRS)

A firefighter was injured after thugs threw a firework at him which became lodged inside his helmet.

Paul Marston, 50, was part of a team of firefighters attacked while attending a callout in Crumpsall Park, Manchester at around 8.45pm on Thursday.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said a group of around 15 youths dressed in black launched projectiles at Mr Marston and a colleage as they tried to put out a blaze in the park.

After he turned back to the safety of the fire engine a firework ricocheted off his colleague and lodged under the back of Mr Marston’s helmet - burning hair and skin.

WM Paul Marston has been a firefighter for almost 30 years. (GMFRS)

He miraculously escaped with only minor burns and was treated at North Manchester Hospital.

“I’m Manchester born and bred and work hard to help protect my community – it’s my job, I’m proud to serve, but I must confess last night’s incident has shaken me,” he said.

“When I was hit, the pain wasn’t the thing I remember most clearly but the impact followed by the horrible smell of burning hair.

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“It lodged inside my helmet and, as we were retreating from the scene, I struggled to get it off.”

“I’ll be honest, in the hours that followed I felt furious. But I soon calmed down and have actually stayed on shift all night – it’s my responsibility to be at work, protecting my local community,” he added.

“But the next time I’m called to an incident like a bonfire or other small fire in a public space I expect last night will be on my mind.”

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It comes just a week after another crew from GMFRS came under attack when a bottle was thrown at a fire engine while firefighters were responding to reports of a fire in the open in Limeside Park in Oldham.

Thankfully no-one was hurt and the fire engine was not damaged, but the Fire Service is reminding people about the potential consequences of anti-social behaviour.

Jim Wallace, Chief Fire Officer for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Service, said: “Incidents such as last night’s at Crumpsall Park are deeply shocking.

“I’m relieved WM Marston is safe and well but the reality is the incident could have been so much more serious.”