13 September 2017 - Dangerous Laser Attack on Ambulance Technician

Driving on blue lights to a medical emergency, a North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) crew member was subject to a vile attack earlier this month as she was shone in the eye with what appeared to be a strong laser.

The Emergency Medical Technician based at Carlisle, who wishes to remain anonymous, was heading with her crew partner to an incident where a patient was struggling to breathe when she suddenly saw a green light being shone into the cab, before everything went black.

Despite being unable to see, in agony and travelling in a busy area of Carlisle, the crew member was able to safely pull the vehicle over avoiding what could have been a serious accident.

Operations Manager for North West Ambulance Service, Christine Jones, said: “I am shocked and appalled that somebody has done such a cruel and dangerous thing to a member of our staff who was travelling at speed to help a patient in need.

“Not only could this have caused a huge road accident, it could have also lost precious minutes for a patient in dire need. Thankfully nobody else was injured and no lasting damage has been done but it could have been a lot worse.”

In extreme burning pain and unable to open her eyes, the technician was quickly driven to A&E where she was treated by doctors and has since made a full recovery.

Christine continues: “Incidents of this nature are taken extremely seriously and are very traumatic for our staff. They are offered a great deal of support from the trust, both physically and mentally but we do urge people to be respectful and please remember that we are here to help.”

In 2016, NWAS recorded 413 incidents of physical abuse towards staff, 20 of which took place in Cumbria, a number that has risen by 25% compared to the previous year.