Northern Ireland news

Paramedic attacked in Derry after treating patient

Ambulance chiefs warn about attacks on paramedics
Seanín Graham

AMBULANCE chiefs have expressed alarm about attacks on staff after a paramedic was targeted in Derry.

A patient being transferred to Altnagelvin Hospital's A&E department attacked a male paramedic while leaving an ambulance earlier this week.

The Ambulance Service said the crew member suffered bruises and scratches to his arms before being stood down from his duties.

Police arrested the patient.

Spokesman John McPoland said there are more than eight attacks a week on its staff.

"This situation is totally unacceptable," he said.

"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. 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."

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