Paramedics are attacked by mob as they treated victim in Coleraine
Terrified ambulance staff cowered inside their vehicle caring for an assault victim as a hostile mob smashed the windscreen and a man outside was stabbed.
The crew had to be stood down for a period before preparing themselves for a further 10 hours of their shift but the ambulance was put out of action after the Coleraine attack.
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) spokesman John McPoland said that around 8pm on Tuesday, while the crew were treating a patient in the ambulance at Mount Street for injuries sustained in an assault, they were aware of a gang of around 10 youths in their late teens outside.
Mr McPoland said: "It was then they heard a bang and when they checked they realised that the front windscreen had been smashed.
"The crew, fearing for their safety, immediately called the PSNI. When they arrived on the 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."
Mr McPoland said the damaged ambulance would be off the road until it was repaired, putting further pressure on the NIAS fleet. Police arrested two males aged 17 and 18 in relation to the stabbing incident and the damage to the ambulance.