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29 November 2017, 06:38 | Updated: 29 November 2017, 06:40
An East of England paramedic in Norfolk has been left traumatised - after he was stabbed with a needle whilst on the job.
The man, who has asked not be named, was assaulted and left with a needle stick injury earlier this year, which resulted him being off the frontline since the attack and receiving treatment to prevent HIV and Hepatitis.
He has also been diagnosed with PTSD. His attacker was jailed for three and a half years.
The paramedic said: "We all have the right to go about our duties without fear of or being verbally and physically abused or assaulted. Sadly, this isn’t often the case, so I hope my case shows these offenders can and will be prosecuted in the future.
"For me right now I am on the up and getting better each day, I still have plenty of off days and suffer with terrible fatigue. I feel my confidence has suffered in regards to being outside and in crowded places but that will get better in time and with some counselling."
It follows the East of England Ambulance Service Trust launching their campaign Don’t Choose to Abuse to highlight the problem of assaults on ambulance service staff and remind the public there is zero tolerance against any form of abuse against emergency workers.
Every year, the number of assaults against ambulance staff increases. In 2016/17 more than 250 physical assaults were recorded against staff from the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust (EEAST) – an increase of 10 per cent from the previous year.
Whilst this is a small proportion of the thousands of calls the ambulance service receives every day, they say one assault is one too many.
Robert Morton, EEAST Chief Executive, said: "Ambulance managers, staff and volunteers work hard to save lives and protect the vulnerable in our communities. It is totally unacceptable that they face violence and aggression, whether in person or over the phone, when they are trying to do their best for our patients.
"If someone is drunk or has taken drugs, they are still responsible for their actions. There is no excuse. Our staff should be able to do their job without fear of being attacked."
Follow updates on the campaign using #DontChoosetoAbuse hashtag.
You can support the Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign by signing up to this Thunderclap on your social media https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/64517-don-t-choose-to-abuse