7 December 2017 - Paramedics Violently Attacked by Patient

Two paramedics required hospital treatment after being violently attacked whilst attending a 999 emergency in Bacup this weekend.

North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) was called to an incident on 3 December 2017 where a male patient was bleeding in the street. Specialist Paramedic, Andrew Ormerod was dispatched in a rapid response vehicle and on arrival the man quickly become violent, lashing out and throwing punches as well as spitting blood, smashing Andrew’s glasses in the process.

An off-duty police officer stopped to help and Andrew was able to use his radio to alert colleagues who informed the police. An ambulance arrived minutes later and whilst trying to diffuse the situation and help the patient a second Paramedic, John Liddle, was also injured in the attack, resulting in a fractured hand.

Sector Manager, Ian Walmsley, said: “It’s absolutely abhorrent that our staff have been subject to such vile and disgusting behaviour by a member of the public after arriving to help.

“We are only human and an extremely frightening incident like this is bound to have lasting effects not only physically but mentally too. We fully support the staff members involved and will push for prosecution. This treatment will not be tolerated.”

Police arrested the male but the ambulance crew continued to treat him for his hand injuries.

Specialist Paramedic based in Burnley, Andrew, 43, said: “It was an extremely traumatic experience and not something that I would expect when I turn up to help. I can’t thank the off-duty police officer enough as I’m sure the outcome would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for him.

“Adrenaline was pumping and all I could think to do was continue to help treat this patient. It was only afterwards that I realised that I had been badly injured in the attack and sought hospital treatment.

“It makes me feel angry, both mine and my colleague’s injuries could take months to heal and we need to take time away from frontline duties, something which I really don’t want to do and not only affects us but also means that we are unable to attend further patients until we have recovered.”

Andrew was immobilised at hospital over fears of a spinal injury.

Charges will be pressed against this man and Lancashire Constabulary is investigating the incident.

NWAS are raising awareness of abuse to their staff on social media using the hashtag #BehindTheUniform.