Express & Star

Thousands of violent assaults on ambulance staff reported in the region, including dozens of sexual assaults

West Midlands Ambulance Service staff made almost 3,000 reports of violent assaults on the job in the last five years.

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Michael Hipgrave with fellow paramedic Deena Evans

The incidents, including 169 reports of sexual assault, were part of union figures showing workers from the trust suffered a total of 2,677 incidents from 2017/18 to 21/22.

Service bosses two years ago took the decision to equip all of the service's ambulance workers with body cameras amid a surge in attacks from members of the public they were trying to help, including stabbings, pushing, and verbal abuse including racial. There is also a zero-tolerance policy for those who abuse staff.

Deena Evans from Willenhall

Those who have been attacked included paramedics Deena Evans, of Willenhall, and Michael Hipgrave, of Coalbrookdale, who both survived a serious knife attack while accompanying police officers to carry out a welfare check on a man at a property in Wolverhampton in July 2020.

The attacker Martyn Smith struck Ms Evans with two eight-inch kitchen knives, resulting in her suffering a punctured lung and slash wounds. Mr Hipgrave, who threw himself between a crewmate and Smith, was stabbed in the back.