Paramedic struck while treating patient in Derry

Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.
Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry.

A paramedic was struck while attending a medical emergency in Derry and had to be withdrawn from his duties, the Ambulance Service has confirmed.

The incident happened after the Ambulance personnel were tasked to a medical emergency in the city the early hours of Monday morning, October 23.

A spokesperson for the Ambulance Service said the patient was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital’s Emergency Department, but on leaving the vehicle he struck out at the paramedic who was attending him.

The paramedic suffered bruises and scratches to his arms, and after treatment in the Emergency Department the paramedic was unable to continue his duties.

PSNI arrived at the scene and arrested the assailant.

The Ambulance Service spokesman said: “Attacks on our crews continue 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. 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.

“NIAS will continue to call for the full rigour of the law to be applied in instances where evidence against an assailant is clear and indisputable.

“We are heartened at some of the recent sentences that have been passed and hope that those who find themselves before the court on such charges will face the real prospect of custodial sentences.”