London Ambulance Service medics attacked with fireworks

4 November 2016

Two emergency medics were left shaken when their ambulance was attacked by lit fireworks on Thursday, 3 November.

Paramedic Claire Watkins and emergency ambulance crew Simone Schluter had just visited a patient and were finishing paperwork inside their ambulance, in Blenheim Park Road, Croydon, when their vehicle was attacked.

Paramedic Claire Watkins said: “It was 10.45pm and we were sitting in the vehicle when a car stopped behind the ambulance. I thought it was just a car parking and I didn’t really think anything of it. The next thing we saw were sparks flying and then there was a fizz, a pop and a bang. We saw lots of colours from beneath the ambulance and realised that people were lighting fireworks under the vehicle.”

“We were really shaken and upset. It scared the hell out us and it’s scary to think what could have happened if the firework exploded or if we were treating a patient in the back of the ambulance.”

Lucas Hawkes-Frost, Assistant Director of Operations said: “These types of actions have wide reaching impacts on the Service.  This vehicle had to be taken out of Service for safety checks and this can limit a crew’s ability to respond to potentially life-threatening emergencies. While we were able to get a replacement vehicle on the road quickly, these mindless acts do have an impact on the response we’re able to give Londoners.”

“Incidents like this also impact on the safety of our staff. They come to work to care for people and actions like this erode the sense of safety they should expect. Attacks like this are totally unacceptable and we are working with the police to make sure those responsible are dealt with through the courts.”

This is the second case of vandalism against a London Ambulance Service vehicle in two weeks. On 27 October, an ambulance had to temporarily be taken out of Service after it was covered with graffiti outside Poplar Ambulance station.

Editor’s notes

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