Belfast Telegraph

Paramedic assaulted on 999 call-out in Derry

A paramedic has been assaulted while attending an emergency call-out in Londonderry.

The incident happened in the early hours of Monday morning, while a Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) crew were taking a patient to Altnagelvin Emergency Department.

While leaving the vehicle the patient hit out at the attending paramedic, leaving him with bruises and scratches to his arms.

The paramedic required treatment in the emergency department before being able to return to his duties.

In a statement, a spokesman for NIAS said attacks against ambulance personnel happen at a rate of more than eight a week.

"This situation is totally unacceptable. We have previously talked about the impact that these attacks have on the communities we serve in terms of crews being stood down mid-shift," he said.

"We have talked about the potential for the loss of life as a result of reduced cover following these assaults. While this potential still exists we are even more concerned about the impact of such assaults on the health and well-being of our staff.

"These assaults are not something which our crews are able to forget about within minutes. We have evidence to show how the impact can be felt years later and the event relived at any moment in time."

He added it was the policy of the NIAS to call for "the full rigour of the law" in dealing with incidents like this, and the service was "heartened" by recent sentences passed against individuals who had attacked ambulance crews.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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