Paramedics boycott riot situations after assaults

The ambulance service in north Belfast have said that they will not be attending public disorder situations in certain areas after crews were assaulted on two occasions over the weekend.

Ardoyne paramedics made the decision after an ambulance driver was injured on Sunday night when the appliance he was driving was attacked by stone throwers in the Longlands estate. A brick passed through a window and the man received an injury to the eye from flying glass.

A paramedic was then assaulted on Monday night as he helped a youth who had been beaten.

The SDLP's North Belfast MLA, Alban Maginnis, called for laws to be strengthened and penalties increased to deter riotous behaviour. Measures such as weekend custodial sentences and curfews, he said, should be introduced for repeat offenders.

"I am horrified that these ambulance staff have come under attack in this way," he said.

"I completely condemn the actions of those who attacked the ambulance staff who were attending those in need of help. This is a matter of deep concern for the community."

The UUP's North Belfast representative Fred Cobain also condemned the attacks as "mindless" and "beyond comprehension".

Mr Cobain said: “What kind of society do we live in when members of the ambulance service are attacked as they attempt to save lives?

“I fully understand why paramedics are loathe to go into certain areas when they meet this type of hostility."

He added: “Attacking ambulances achieves absolutely nothing except to ensure the community at large suffers.”

Mr Cobain then paid tribute to the "heroes" in the ambulances service who currently serve what he described as a "pathetic society".


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

19 July 2019
NI Ambulance Service Recruiting Helicopter Paramedics
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service is recruiting for new helicopter paramedics to be based at the Air Ambulance base at Maze Long Kesh in Lisburn and Emergency Ambulance Control at NIAS HQ in Belfast. Successful candidates will join the Helicopter Emergency Medical Service (HEMS) team which is made up of 15 doctors and seven paramedics.
01 April 2008
Ambulance Crew Involved In M1 Crash
An ambulance crew has been involved in a crash in Belfast as they were attempting to resuscitate a young baby on the M1 motorway. The crew had been flagged down on Kennedy Way to help an infant who had stopped breathing, when a lorry collided with the ambulance at 11am today. The lorry was approaching the Broadway roundabout.
12 November 2019
Belfast Restaurant Fined As Customer Hospitalised
A Belfast restaurant has been fined after a customer suffered an anaphylactic reaction when eating a slice of pizza they had been advised was safe for nut allergies.
06 February 2002
Ambulance staff representatives meet with SDLP
Representatives from the health union Unison and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service have met with the SDLP at Stormont to discuss recent attacks on paramedics.
11 October 2017
Paramedic Attacked In Co Tyrone
A 20-year-old woman has been charged after a female paramedic was attacked twice during a callout in Co Tyrone. She was punched and bitten by a patient in the Fairview Gardens area of Dromore on Tuesday, 10 October. The paramedic tried to get away from the scene however she was assaulted a second time and sustained a head injury.