AMBULANCE bosses have appealed for members of the public to treat paramedics with respect, after assaults on staff increased by a shocking 27 per cent last year.
In 2014/15 ambulance staff – including paramedics and 999 call handlers – reported 608 verbal or physical assaults.
But by 2015/16 that had increased to 755 attacks, prompting North West Ambulance Service bosses to launch a new appeal.
The Behind the Uniform campaign features the children of ambulance staff asking people to treat their family with respect.
Scarlett, aged 10, describes how her father Paul – a paramedic – had to have surgery for a knee injury after he was assaulted by a patient in the back of an ambulance.
NWAS Chief Executive, Derek Cartwright said: “In my role, there is nothing worse than being told that one of our staff has been attacked while trying to do their job and hearing the views of their children really brings it home.
“Our staff are not just Paramedics, Technicians, Despatchers or 111 Health Advisors – they are mums, dads, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters.
“There are incidents where the overriding factor is the medical condition itself – mental health problems, head injury and seizures can all lead to patients acting aggressively but our staff are fully trained in recognising these conditions and how to deal with them.
“The real issue is when people get angry – they may have waited longer for an ambulance than they expect, they may be unhappy with the treatment being given or the questions our call takers have to ask each caller but regardless of this, there is no excuse for attacking someone who is trying to help you or your loved one.”