Attacks on the rise

A KIAMA paramedic suffered a series of injuries following an alleged unprovoked assault at Barrack Heights last Friday night.

Ambulance officials have dubbed this the latest in a worrying trend of physical violence against ambulance officers.

The incident occurred after 9pm.

NSW Ambulance duty operations manager for the Illawarra Norm Rees said paramedics were requested to attend the Barrack Heights address.

Inspector Rees said police were on-scene upon their arrival.

"The patient was compliant and once loaded into the back of the ambulance, a female paramedic attempted to do patient assessment, " he said.

Inspector Rees said in an unprovoked attack the patient then became violent towards the paramedic.

He said the man struck the victim, who is in her early 40s, in the right side of the face with a closed fist, and continued to do so.

The woman also fell while attempting to exit the ambulance with the assistance of her partner, whereby the patient allegedly continued to kick her in the back, abdomen and lower legs.

The man was taken into police custody and the paramedic transported to Shellharbour Hospital.

Inspector Rees said the victim is currently on workers' compensation, having suffered injuries including bruising to the face and back, as well as neck stiffness.

He said this since January, NSW Ambulance had 36 reported incidents involving 48 paramedics being assaulted statewide.

"It won't be tolerated, and we will ensure these people are punished to the full extent of the law," Inspector Rees said.

Inspector Andrew Koutsoufis of the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command said the 34 man was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm and resisting an officer in the execution of their duty.

He appeared in Wollongong Local Court on Monday, March 24.

Bail was dispensed with and he was sent to Shellharbour Hospital for mental assessment.


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