Anger after NI ambulance crews assaulted on Eleventh night

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The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has hit out after four crews were assaulted during the Eleventh night.

Last night was a very busy night for the service, with staff in the control room handling 447 emergency calls – an increase of 21% over the same period last year.

In carrying out their duties, four crews were assaulted, which the NIAS described as “completely unacceptable for both the personal injury caused and the disruption to ambulances available to respond”.

NIAS Chief Executive, Michael Bloomfield and Interim Director of Operations, Robert Sowney were out and about with crews last night as well as spending time in control supporting staff and were aware of the incidents of staff being assaulted.

Mr Bloomfield said his staff in the control room and on the road were being “stretched to the limit”.

He added: “I want to express my sincere thanks, and those of the senior team, to them all for the commitment and dedication to duty which they have displayed.

“I am aware that a number of our staff have been verbally or physically abused. I share the anger of our staff that these assaults continue to occur. Our staff are there for one purpose only - and that is to keep people safe. I ask you to please help us over the remainder of the holiday weekend to ensure that they, themselves, are kept safe and protected from these assaults.

“We would ask everyone to enjoy the day safely, save ambulances for real emergencies and respect our staff.”

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