Belfast Telegraph

St Patrick's Day: Paramedic hospitalised after being kicked in stomach

By Claire Williamson

A female paramedic required hospital treatment after she was kicked in the stomach by a 19-year-old man she was treating during the St Patrick's Day celebrations in Belfast.

It happened in the Bank Street area of Belfast city centre on Thursday night.

The 19-year-old became aggressive - spitting and kicking out at the crews.

He was put in an ambulance where he kicked the woman in the stomach.

She was taken to the Ulster Hospital and is now believed to be recovering from her injuries.

John McPoland of the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, speaking to the BBC, condemned the attack.

He said: "Something really has to be done to make sure the ambulance service is given the respect it deserves.

"We absolutely condemn the actions of this individual because the paramedic was there just to provide him with help."

Eleven arrests were made in and around the city centre and the Holylands area of south Belfast where large crowds of revellers had gathered.

In the early hours of Thursday morning there was a drunken crowd of around 300 on the streets.

A police officer was injured after a bottle was thrown.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said in a statement: "An ambulance crew was assaulted last night by a patient whom they had been called to treat in Bank Street, Belfast. The patient became aggressive and spat at both crew members before kicking out at them.

"Despite this violent behaviour against them, the crew continued to care for the patient taking him to the Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment.

"The female member of the crew was letter assessed for abdominal pain and was admitted to a ward at 5am this morning. She was discharged at 11am and is recovering at home.

"NIAS condemns in the strongest possible terms this assault on our staff and hope that assault charges are pressed against this individual resulting in a sentence that will send a message that attacks on ambulance crews will no longer be tolerated. NIAS staff dedicate themselves to caring for the sick and injured in our society and at times do so at great risk to their personal safety.

"In return, they ask for nothing more than a degree of respect and the space in which to do their job."

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