A female paramedic is at home recovering from her injuries after being assaulted by a man in Enniskillen, Co Fermanagh.
The paramedic was punched repeatedly in the head and stomach after her crew responded to an emergency call in the Dannys Mill Road area at about 23:30 hours on Tuesday.
Following a call for urgent assistance made by the emergency ambulance crew, PSNI Officers quickly attended the scene and were able to restrain the male.
According to the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, the attack happened in the back of the ambulance and was totally unprovoked.
NIAS Chief Executive, Michael Bloomfield, said:
“I appeal that our staff be allowed to do their job without
West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Kelly called for a zero-tolerance approach to those who assault ambulance staff and other health service workers:
“The ambulance crew had to be immediately stood down, leaving a large rural area exposed in terms of available cover during the rest of the shift,” she said.
“More worryingly, as a result of the injuries sustained and trauma inflicted in this attack, the female ambulance crew member has been now forced onto sick leave.”
There are over 400 assaults on staff from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) each year – more than one a day.
An NIAS Spokesperson said:
‘NIAS has a zero tolerance policy in relation to these assaults.
‘Our staff should not be subject to such behaviour, especially while they are providing care to patients. The vast majority of these incidents are not reported in the media, but that does not make them any less concerning.
‘All assaults on ambulance staff are totally unacceptable and result in a reduction in
‘NIAS continues to work with Trade Unions and staff to ensure the appropriate levels of post-incident care are provided to our staff who are victims of such abuse’.
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