19 Nov 2016

New Caledonia firefighters promised police backup

5:22 pm on 19 November 2016
A firefighter on scene at an incident. 6 July 2016.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Firefighters in New Caledonia have been assured that armed police will now assist them if they consider a call-out to be too risky.

Last weekend, a firefighter was injured when unidentified gunmen shot at their truck north of Noumea as they were on their way to a fight a bushfire.

Nobody has been arrested over the attack.

The firefighters' union has met representatives of the French High Commission which is responsible for public safety in the territory.

A protocol has been signed to allow firefighters to have police protection.

One of the about 100 firefighters who had gathered outside the High Commission told local television that they have been repeatedly attacked this year and in one instance, their truck was hit by two molotov cocktails.

Police in New Caledonia are regularly being shot at and in the most serious recent incident, five police officers suffered gunshot wounds during clashes south of Noumea.