SHOCKING figures have revealed assaults against on-duty paramedics have almost doubled – and some now refuse to go into parts of Blackpool on their own.
Official figures from the North West Ambulance Service show an alarming number of people have assaulted ambulance crew members in the past year.
The report, issued by NHS Protect, shows there were 268 physical assaults on crew members across the North West.
On the Fylde coast, 11 physical assaults were recorded, compared to six the previous year.
Paramedic Lisa Hulley – who has been subjected to two sickening assaults in the past two years – said the situation was getting worse and ambulance staff would no longer stand for it.
She added: “The first assault, two years ago, was of a sexual nature and went to crown court.
“The man did plead guilty and ended up on the sex offenders register. He attacked me while I was examining him in the back of our vehicle.
“It was such a difficult time. It leaves you in a bad state of mind and ties up your time as you go through the process of interviews and court.
“The second time, I was grabbed in the middle of town.
“I was going to a bar to see a potentially seriously-injured person who had fallen and it was a very busy night.
“I was passing some lads who were a bit drunk and one grabbed my bum.
“They feel they have the right to grope you because you’re a female and in uniform.
“But I found it very difficult to carry on afterwards.
“A lot of people were intoxicated and giving abuse, others think they can get stuck in and help.
“We get abuse so often now. I think it’s getting worse. I’ve been on the road for seven years now and we certainly get more verbal abuse.
“There’s areas in Blackpool now where some of us will not attend if we are working alone. And if we are abused, we will withdraw immediately.”
Derek Cartwright, director of emergency service, added: “We are here to serve people. It is intolerable that crews have to face this sort of abuse and we will not accept any violence or aggression towards them, our equipment or vehicles.
“We will continue to support staff and encourage them to report incidents to police.”
NHS Protect’s Richard Hampton said: “Staff should never be expected to suffer violence.”