Belfast Telegraph

Paramedics threatened with fake gun on Belfast call

by claire williamson

PARAMEDICS were threatened by a man with an imitation gun as they responded to a hoax call of a sudden death in east Belfast.

The crew was responding to a report of a death in the Montgomery Road area at 8pm last Thursday.

A man has been arrested and charged after threatening the paramedics with what turned out to be an imitation firearm.

When crews arrived at the scene they discovered the call was bogus.

They were met by a man and after a short time found a woman in another room.

The man then left the premises and returned a short time later brandishing the imitation gun in a "threatening manner" towards the crew.

One crew member was able to disarm him and called for assistance from police who arrived promptly and arrested the individual.

The member of staff who disarmed the assailant suffered a back injury as a result.

Northern Ireland Ambulance Service spokesman John McPoland said: "This is the latest in a series of incidents involving attacks, or threats of attack, on our crews.

"This particular one was a lot more sinister in nature with the call being bogus and an imitation firearm being produced.

"Given the circumstances involved in this incident, NIAS would reiterate its call that anyone involved in any type of assault on our crews should face the full rigours of the law, especially if they have been called to a scene under false pretences.

"Our staff are there to provide help to the helpless and to remove fear from the fearful and yet all too often they are being faced with situations which are becoming more serious in nature."

Attacks on ambulance staff are running at more than eight a week.

Belfast Telegraph

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