Dozens of firefighters in the north were attacked while on duty over the last six years, it can be revealed.
The shock figures obtained by The Press and Journal have sparked a furious reaction from politicians and fire service chiefs.
The statistics show that 25 firefighters in the Aberdeen city area were subjected to acts of violence since 2013, with five in the Highlands and 17 in Aberdeenshire.
Nationally there have been more than 400 cases of attacks on firefighters.
David Farries, deputy assistant chief officer for the North of Scotland, said: “Attacks on emergency responders are completely unacceptable and I am sure the public would be outraged by incidents where their firefighters have been targeted while working to protect people and property.
“This type of behaviour not only prevents our crews from bringing any emergency to a safe and swift conclusion but it can impact on our emergency service colleagues including the police when they have to escort us at the scene.
“This cannot be condoned. We would urge the majority of law abiding residents to alert the police to any such reckless activity.
“We will also work to identify those responsible and we will pass that intelligence to our police partners which can result in a variety of consequences – and potentially affect future employment prospects.”
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The P&J newsletter
John Finnie MSP, the Scottish Green Party justice spokesperson, said: “It is completely unacceptable that firefighters are confronted by violence in the course of their duties.
“These vital public servants put their lives on the line to protect us. It is essential that robust action is taken against anyone who engages in such outrageous behaviour.”
Highlands and Islands regional MSP Rhoda Grant said: “It is a shocking state of affairs when our firefighters, who are there to protect our communities on the front line, have to endure violent assaults upon them whilst merely doing their duty.
“The work of firefighters is difficult enough without them having to defend themselves against a selfish and idiotic minority.
“Quite rightly such incidents can be dealt with by the police under their powers in relation to assault.
“Assaulting an emergency worker whilst carrying out their duty is an aggravation of that, which if found guilty can liable the offender to a heavy fine or imprisonment.”
Last year, assistant chief officer (ACO) Lewis Ramsay hit out after crews were targeted on November 5 – the service’s busiest night of the year.
Staff even needed police protection when attending to unorganised bonfires in Edinburgh.
Scotland-wide statistics for 2016-17 alone show 61 firefighters were involved in incidents where they were physically or verbally abused or had objects thrown at the fire engines, causing injuries to seven staff.
Highland councillor Matthew Reiss, a former area commander for Caithness and Sutherland, said: “I think most members of the public are rightly appalled when they read of these attacks on firefighters and paramedics or their very expensive vehicles.
“If someone suffers injury or a vehicle is taken off the road as a result of such an incident other innocent folk may be affected. Thankfully these events are extremely rare in Highland”.