Appropriate Use of Our Service

Every day the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service deals with in excess of 500 emergency 999 calls, and this only increases over the Bank Holiday Weekends.

It is vital that you always use our service appropriately. For every inappropriate call we receive, we are unable to help someone who is in a life-threatening condition.

Remember, 999: Use It, Don’t Abuse It

 

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Ambulance Crew Assaulted While Attending Patient

An ambulance crew was assaulted in Trillick last night by a female patient who had called for their assistance moments earlier.

Responding to a 999 call, the ambulance crew sought to do nothing more than help an individual in need. During assessment and initial treatment the patient struck out at one of the female crew striking her on the face and also kicking her.  The second member of the crew, who was also female, attempted to intervene to prevent the patient from damaging equipment and, as a result, sustained an arm injury.

The crew removed themselves from the scene and called for police assistance who arrived and dealt with the individual involved.

Both crew members were stood down as they were unable to continue their shift meaning that the significantly rural area in and around Enniskillen was left with reduced cover between 11pm and 8am this morning with only one crew remaining to cope with calls in the area.

Assaults on our crews continue on an almost daily basis and the Trust hopes that by continuing to highlight those more serious in nature that everyone with influence in local communities and leadership positions wider afield will do all they can to support our staff, particularly by ensuring that those who carry out such attacks are brought before the courts to face the real prospect of custodial sentencing.

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Ambulance Frontline and Control Staff Abused Over the Weekend

Over the weekend, Northern Ireland Ambulance Service crews and control staff dealt with the usual high volume of calls from people needing our assistance in life threatening situations. a small number of these made headlines including a fatal road incident in Crossgar, an assault on a young father of two which resulted in his death and a number of sudden deaths of young men in the Belfast area.

Each of these calls is dealt with in the most professional manner by our staff, from the call taker to the crews who arrive at the scene.

Despite this frontline crews and staff in control continue to receive abuse from a small minority who have no regard for their own safety or that of our staff.

On Saturday morning a female call taker was subject to extreme vulgar abuse while taking a call from a member of the public. Although there is no acceptable level of tolerance of this behaviour, it was so bad on this occasion that details have been passed to PSNI who expect to follow it up.

On Sunday evening a crew from Larne was tasked to Whitehead for a male patient who had himself been the victim of an assault. While transporting the patient to hospital the crew reported that the patient was becoming violent in the back of the ambulance and requested police assistance as a matter of urgency. The crew exited the vehicle while awaiting the arrival of PSNI during which time a degree of damage was caused.

NIAS understands that this person was charged by PSNI.

It is regrettable that, once again, we find ourselves having to report this incidents in the media to highlight the fact that, despite ongoing educational campaigns, these incidents continue to happen almost daily.

The Trust welcomes the fact that courts have begun to issue custodial sentences for such behaviour and we hope that the real threat of prison can act as a deterrent to people who engage in such activity.

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