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Ambulance bosses say nearly 600 acts of violence against Cheshire staff in five years is 'unacceptable'

Bosses at the ambulance trust that covers Cheshire are urging people to get behind their campaign against assaults on staff.

There have been 587 acts of violence and aggression towards paramedics and staff in the county since 2013.

10 of those were sexual, while 133 were incidents of assault caused by having to restrain a patient for safety reasons.

Across the area covered by the North West Ambulance Service, there have been a total of 5,726 incidents.

They include paramedics being pushed into the road and oncoming traffic by a patient they were trying to treat, and having death threats made against them.

The Service has launched its #GetBehind999 campaign, and is asking the public for its support in condemning these kinds of acts against all emergency service staff.

With the aid of an online pledge link, NWAS are asking people to share the message that violence against ambulance staff is unacceptable, and can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of staff as well as the trust’s ability to respond to emergencies.

The consumption of alcohol plays a pivotal role in many of these incidents, and so NWAS will also be providing pubs and clubs with posters and beer mats to press home the message.

Interim Chief Executive, Mick Forrest explains: “This is a problem which affects us all.

"If an ambulance crew are attacked while out on the road, they need to come off duty.

"They might need treatment, or to provide the police with statements and this takes a vital resource off the road and unable to respond to an emergency.

“One of my worst fears as Interim Chief Executive is that I am going to be woken in the night to be informed of the death or life changing injury of a colleague because of an assault. I cannot imagine what it must be like to have to manage a situation like that and I sincerely hope I never have to.”

 

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