Ambulance service ‘had ample cover despite attack’

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Clear details of a drink-fuelled attack on paramedics in east Antrim, which hit the headlines at the weekend have emerged.

Police in Carrick had originally claimed on social media that the incident on December 10, in which a paramedic was assaulted by an intoxicated teen, had resulted in the only ambulance in service across Whiteabbey, Larne and Carrickfergus being unavailable to attend call-outs.

The post on the PSNI Carrickfergus Facebook page, raised concerns amongst the public, with one man commenting: “Why only one ambulance on call for such a large geographical area?”

Police have since clarified the information in the original post from Sunday, December 11.

Inspector Martin Ruddy, Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “While highlighting an alcohol fuelled attack on one of our colleagues in the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service on our Facebook page at the weekend, we mistakenly gave the impression that there was only one ambulance on duty in the Larne, Carrickfergus and Whiteabbey areas. After speaking to our colleagues in NIAS we are happy to clarify that there was ample ambulance cover throughout the area. We apologise for our mistake.”

A spokesperson for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) has confirmed that there was ample cover for the region on Saturday evening. Praising NIAS staff for working in challenging conditions, the spokesperson added: “We could not deliver the service without their dedication and as an organisation we are committed to supporting them to deliver the best clinical care for the patients whom the deal with, on our behalf, on a daily basis.

“We appreciate the efforts and sacrifices they have made to date and will continue to work to improve the conditions under which they work.”