Firefighters could be facing a risk to their health after syringes have been dumped in a Lynn hydrant.
A Norfolk Fire and Rescue hydrant inspector discovered a host of needles dropped into a hydrant in Railway Road during a recent inspection.
Now they are calling on drug users to take their needles to an appropriate exchange rather dump them in a hydrant and risk firefighters.
Group manager Tim Edwards has put out the plea to think of the safety of his men.
He said: “The practice of needle disposal in this way posses a real risk to my firefighters who, often in the dark, will need to gain access to these hydrant pits quickly and, not knowing these items are there, poses a real risk of injury.
“This could delay firefighting thereby risking lives.
“I am appealing to anyone who needs to dispose of their used needles to do so responsibly via their local pharmacist who would be happy to help.”
Fire Brigade Union secretary Kevin Game said there have been incidents of needles being found in hydrants before and is also joining the call for users to take their needles to the appropriate place.
He said: “It is worrying especially out in rural areas where we do rely predominately on hydrants water.
“I don’t know why they are putting them in hydrants full stop.
“It can be pitch black and you can’t see when you are having to put your hands inside the hydrant.
“Sometimes we have to drag out road silt from hydrants with our hands and could be quite easy to get hit by a needle.
“If people are using needles there are better places to take them to.”
Norfolk Needle Exchange scheme offers help across Lynn for drug users.
Bins for used needles are handed out with fresh ones at a number of locations across the town.
n Boots, in Goodwin’s Road
n Boots at the Hardwick Industrial Estate
n Boots in Lynn’s High Street
n Well Pharmacy in Loke Road
n Clock Pharmacy in Gaywood
n Rainbow Pharmacy at Asda in South Wootton.
The Norfolk Recovery Partnership’s office, in Chapel Street, also hosts a needle exchange.
The partnership provides advice and treatment for adults with drug and alcohol problems.
People wishing to seek help with their problems can drop into the office or call 0300 7900227.