Ambulance Staff Seek Public Support After Facing Violence

Ambulance staff are calling on the public to show their disgust at people who abuse them after another 'sickening' weekend of violence and aggression.

On Friday night, ambulance staff on duty at the Trust’s City Centre Treatment Unit (CCTU) on Broad Street in Birmingham bore the brunt of the abuse. Paramedic Mike Duggan, who runs the CCTU each weekend to help reduce A&E attendance by treating patients on site, was subjected to not one but three instances of verbal abuse. Mike said:

“One man who was intoxicated became abusive to me and a crew and his language made it perfectly clear that he didn’t want our help. Another man we’d been sent to help became verbally abusive and, as well as telling us to ‘go away’ in less polite terms, he also told me that he wished me dead.

"Another case later on in the evening saw us respond to a woman who had been punched. Whilst we were trying to treat her injuries, she became abusive and so did her partner; as well as being uncooperative, she used inappropriate and offensive language towards us. Thank you to West Midlands Police for their support and assistance.”

Meanwhile, elsewhere in Birmingham a female student paramedic was punched in the arm by a heavily intoxicated woman and an ambulance technician was assaulted by a patient in Cannock causing bruises and scratches. Mr Duggan added:

“It is disgusting that any ambulance staff, who come to work purely to help people, are subjected to this level of abuse and violence. Despite this, we turn up for duty each shift and continue to provide a first class service to people in their hour of need. Sadly, these incidents occur regularly and despite our best efforts and those of the police, it appears that they are increasing.

"I would like to see a mandatory sentence introduced for anyone who assaults any member of the emergency services. We hope that the public will show their disgust and make sure their friends, family and colleagues don’t act in such a despicable way.”

Steve Elliker, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Head of Security and Safety added: “This weekend alone I’ve received 10 reports from staff of them being abused whilst at work; 5 were actual physical assaults and another 5 verbal abuse. It is sickening to hear that our staff endure abuse by the very people they are trying to help.

“The Trust has a zero tolerance policy in place and works extremely hard to bring the full weight of the law to bear on anyone who attacks our staff. It is simply not acceptable that staff who are there to help people, suffer at the hands of patients, their relatives or other people at the scene.”


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