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Hot-blooded firefighters face cruising probe

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Hot-blooded firefighters face cruising probe

Post by Aftab on Mon 18 Aug 2008 - 5:10

Hot-blooded firefighters face cruising probe

Monday, 18 August 2008

A crew of flirty firefighters could be in hot water after apparently cruising through a busy city centre in a fire engine to impress women.

An investigation was launched after an angry cabbie reported the behaviour to fire chiefs - and used his mobile phone to snap a leggy blonde climbing out of a fire tender.

He said the fire crews were risking lives by loitering in Newcastle city centre.

The cabbie, who does not want to be named, claimed to have seen crews "shouting and leering at girls" on a number of occasions.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service confirmed the vehicle pictured was one of its official appliances and said a full investigation had been launched.

The self-employed hackney carriage driver, who took the picture one Saturday evening, said: "I saw firemen get these women up into the cab.

"They are going round town getting whistled at by women and they are hanging out the windows of the fire engines."

He told the Sunday Sun in Newcastle: "If a house is burning down where are they? Stuck in town."

He said he had written anonymously to chief fire officer Iain Bathgate before Christmas, complaining about the alleged cruising.

Kevin Hepple, area manager for community safety at Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said they were taking the matter seriously.

He said: "The vehicle in the photograph is a Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service operational appliance and we're in the process of investigating the reasons why it has seemingly stopped in this location.

"While appliances may often be seen passing through the Quayside in Newcastle on their return to home stations after being called out to incidents, or after carrying out other duties, they shouldn't be parked unless it's to deal with a query from a member of the public or to carry out a standard inspection of a premise.

"If that hasn't been the case in this situation, we will be investigating and will be taking any necessary action."

He added: "Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service would never condone the misuse of fire and rescue appliances or the valuable time of professional firefighters, as it's being alleged is the case here.

"However, until we've been able to complete a thorough investigation we're unable to confirm what has occurred in this instance or to comment further on it."

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