‘At­tacks won’t put me off’

Birmingham Post - - NEWS -

AM­BU­LANCE tech­ni­cian Bob Bur­ness was left blood­ied and bruised – af­ter he was at­tacked by the pa­tient he was try­ing to help.

The grand­fa­ther-of-five (pic­tured) was left with blood pour­ing down his nose when a man he had been sent to as­sist lashed out at him. His in­juries were of such con­cern that an am­bu­lance had to be called out to help him.

Bob and his team were called to re­ports of an un­con­scious man slumped in the stair­well of Bray­brook House in West Bromwich. The 59-year-old dad-of-two, from Great Barr, said: “We started do­ing our as­sess­ments and at this point he started to wake up and get more ag­gres­sive. He threw a beer can at a woman vol­un­teer stu­dent and then squared up to her – so I stepped in front of him to calm him down. “With­out warn­ing, he just head­but­ted me. He kept hit­ting me on the nose and mouth, which knocked me back. Next thing, he chased the para­medic up the stairs. At this stage, I had re­cov­ered enough and I ran up­stairs, too. Be­tween us, we man­aged to bring him down­stairs and re­strained him un­til the po­lice ar­rived.” Mean­while, an­other am­bu­lance was called to take care of Bob’s own in­juries. He suf­fered soft tis­sue dam­age to his nose and headaches for a cou­ple of days. Bob, who worked for nearly 30 years as a fire­fighter for West Mid- lands Fire Ser­vice be­fore join­ing the am­bu­lance ser­vice, says at­tacks on crews have be­come rou­tine.

“I’ve been pushed down stairs; I’ve been spat at,” he said. “It’s al­most nor­mal for cer­tain mem­bers of the com­mu­nity who at­tack us for no ob­vi­ous rea­son – but it won’t put me off.”

Don­ald Hornby, 25, of no fixed abode, was charged with the as­sault on Bob and jailed for 12 weeks and handed a £250 fine.

Nathan Hud­son, Am­bu­lance Ser­vice gen­eral man­ager for Birm­ing­ham, said: “We are dis­ap­pointed that it is not longer.

“Is 12 weeks enough for a se­ri­ous as­sault on a mem­ber of am­bu­lance staff who had been called to try to help the de­fen­dant?

“It is dis­ap­point­ing that our staff suf­fer phys­i­cal and ver­bal abuse when all they are try­ing to do is help.”

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