Ambulance attack: paramedic's reaction

A STUDENT paramedic today called for calm from town centre yobs after having his ambulance attacked as he helped an injured man inside.

A STUDENT paramedic today called for calm from town centre yobs after having his ambulance attacked as he helped an injured man inside.

Andy South was one of the crew treating patients in an ambulance when it was mobbed in Ipswich earlier this month.

Speaking for the first time about the ordeal, the 27-year-old today said a growing number of abusive and drunk members of the public are making the emergency services' lives increasingly difficult.

He said: “To be honest it's not out of the ordinary for something like that to happen on a weekend night.

“More and more we have drunk and abusive people to deal with.

“Not very often do they make you feel scared, it's just annoying that they can't appreciate you are trying to do you job and shouldn't have to put up with them.

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“I've been threatened and had someone kicking around in the back of the ambulance before - they are just mindless.”

The attack happened outside Ipswich station on Saturday, September 1, at around 2.45am. The two assault victims were on their way home after a night out when they were set upon by a gang of six men.

One man was arrested on suspicion of assault at the scene, but officers were forced to chase a second man as he fled down Burrell Road. He was later detained, also on suspicion of assault, and both are now on bail.

No one was arrested in connection with the ambulance attack.

Mr South, who was working with a female paramedic at the time, said: “Most of our jobs that night had been to drunk people in the town centre.

“The call said two men had been assaulted and we found them with blood on their faces and got them both into the ambulance to assess them.

“Then I felt punches and kicks to the back of the ambulance and what seemed to be somebody trying to get in.

“My colleague looked at me, neither of us knew what was going on, and I told her to lock the door and she pressed the emergency button so police were called.

“I could see a group of about eight to ten lads outside and they were all stood laughing.”

Rob Lawrence, the ambulance service's chief operating officer for Suffolk, said: “We are very disappointed that individuals act in this threatening way towards an ambulance crew undertaking a job that is tough enough already.

“Right now we really need the public to look after us so we can look after them and this has not helped at all.”

N Have paramedics saved your life? Would you like to say thank you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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