Belfast Telegraph

Appeal as ambulance window smashed

An ambulance windscreen was smashed in Co Londonderry while the crew was treating a patient, the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said.

Paramedics were helping a person who had been assaulted in Mount Street, Coleraine, on Tuesday evening.

A crowd of approximately ten teenagers gathered outside the vehicle and staff heard a bang and discovered the damage.

An Ambulance Service statement said: "The crew, fearing for their safety, immediately called the PSNI.

"When they arrived on scene and it was safe for the crew to leave their vehicle, it became clear that another incident had occurred in the street resulting in a person having been stabbed.

"Another ambulance was sent to the scene while the crew, who moments earlier were taking refuge in their vehicle, immediately tended to the victim of the stabbing."

The service said this incident highlighted the commitment of its crews to helping those in need while at the same time having to put their own physical and mental welfare to one side.

"Unfortunately it also highlights that attacks on our crews are still happening despite our best efforts at educating the public about the impact this will have on our capacity to provide emergency response to life-threatening calls in the area," the service continued.

The crew was stood down for a period after the call to allow them to re-focus and prepare for another 10 hours on duty.

"The damaged vehicle will be off the road until it is repaired, putting pressure on our fleet," the statement read.

"NIAS will continue to provide our service to those who need it most.

"But we need the support of the community to ensure our staff are kept safe, we need anyone who has information about the individual who smashed the windscreen of the ambulance and terrorised our staff to contact the PSNI and we need that person brought before the courts in order that we can send out the message that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated."

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