Northern Ireland news

Three Northern Ireland ambulance staff attacked by patient

It was the second weekend in a row that paramedics were attacked in the Newtownards area

THREE ambulance staff were treated in hospital for injuries after being attacked by patient believed to have been under the influence of drugs.

It eventually took six people, including police officers, to restrain the man before he was taken into the emergency department.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) said the injured staff unable to continue their shift, leaving the north Down area with reduced emergency cover.

It was the second weekend in a row that paramedics were attacked in the Newtownards area.

The latest incident happened on Saturday night when paramedics responded to a 999 call for a man who was reportedly under the influence of drugs.

While in the back of an ambulance being taken to hospital, he assaulted a paramedic who sustained back and shoulder injuries.

Another crew tried to help when the ambulance arrived at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, and the patient assaulted a further two crew members.

Michael Bloomfield, NIAS chief executive, said he was "appalled" and urged communities to "redouble their efforts in helping us protect our staff".

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