400 Assaults on Ambulance Crew

14 June 2010, 06:00

As the World Cup gets underway, East of England Ambulance bosses are encouraging people to ‘respect’ the ambulance crew who attend an incident, after figures from 2009-10 show that nearly 400 assaults were reported.

This included 110 physical assaults and half of all assaults were alcohol-related.

Neil Storey is the associate director for emergency operations:

“When you respond to a 999 call, the very last thing you expect is to be repaid with physical or verbal abuse. It’s unacceptable for anyone to be threatened, but particularly so when attacks are made on our staff who are there to help save lives and give aid to the public.

“All our staff have the right to carry out their duties without fearing for their safety. We encourage staff to report any abuse, and we always pursue prosecution in all cases as far as possible with the Police and CPS.

“We understand that watching football matches will generate a party atmosphere and also heighten people’s emotions – but we don’t want any adverse behaviour to get the better of them and impact on the crews when they attend a 999 call.”

East of England Ambulance has issued some simple steps to ensure these times stay safe and enjoyable:

  • Do not call 999 unless it’s a absolutely necessary, think of other alternatives such as NHS Direct or contacting your GP for minor ailments or injuries
  • Pre book a taxi to and from the venue you are watching the games or arrange a life, leave your car at home – never drink and drive!
  • Make sure you eat a meal before the games
  • Be careful whilst walking home, especially in unlit areas such as country lanes
  • Rehydrate yourself during hot weather with fruit juice and water
  • Wear sun block and stay in the shade if possible
  • And most importantly – Respect the emergency services