Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Paramedic assaulted giving first aid

A motion to introduce tough new laws to crack down on attacks on healthcare staff has been tabled in the Assembly.

It came yesterday on the same day that it emerged a paramedic was kicked and punched as he treated a woman who had been hit by a car at the weekend.

Despite the vicious onslaught the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service worker continued to administer care to the victim.

Details of the attack came to light yesterday and has provoked outrage throughout Northern Ireland.

The paramedic was kicked, punched and dragged across the road after arriving at the accident at the junction of Strand Road and Rock Road in Londonderry. Several arrests were made at the scene on Saturday. Those arrested for disorderly behaviour have been bailed.

The injured woman, who sustained serious injuries, is being treated in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A spokesman for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said: “The paramedic who attended the scene was punched, kicked and dragged across the road while attempting to treat that patient and prior to the arrival of colleagues and the PSNI.

“It was his sense of a duty of care to the patient which was the determining factor in his remaining at the scene to treat the injured party.”

Alliance Party health spokesperson Kieran McCarthy MLA has tabled a motion at the Assembly calling on the relevant minister to introduce tough laws to crack down on attacks on healthcare staff and public servants.

He said: “This was a brutal and totally mindless assault. If strong action is not taken to protect public servants we could soon be hearing even more distressing news involving our healthcare staff.”

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