We take this extremely seriously and want to send a clear message that this will not be tolerated.
On Sunday morning in Blackpool, a patient being attended to in the back of an ambulance, became very agitated and aggressive; one of our student paramedics was punched and another member of staff was threatened with violence and chased around the outside of the vehicle. The crew then had to seek shelter inside the ambulance which also suffered significant damage.
As a result, a 30-year-old man has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker, criminal damage and using threatening behaviour in an attempt to cause fear of violence. He’s been remanded to appear before Preston Crown Court on 9th December.
In a separate incident at Bolton bus interchange yesterday night, another patient became aggressive after receiving treatment, assaulting an ambulance crew member. They also chased a paramedic around his rapid response vehicle. A 34-year-old man has been arrested.
The affected staff members have all been offered support by the trust; fortunately, none have lasting physical injuries.
Recent statistics show violence against our crews has risen over the last five years with over 460 physical assaults in the 12 month period up to May 2020.
Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service says “Our crews are already working under very trying circumstances with all that is going on at the moment due to the pandemic. They should be able to go about their jobs of helping people without the fear of violence against them.
“Physical and verbal aggression against our staff is completely unacceptable. It can cause long lasting damage both physically and mentally. We will always support our staff and push for prosecutions.”