Paramedics 'violently attacked' by patient in Bacup

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Image caption,
The paramedics were attacked by the injured man on Lane End Road in Bacup

Two paramedics needed hospital treatment after being punched and spat at by a man they were trying to help.

Paramedics Andrew Ormerod and John Liddle were "violently attacked" in Bacup, Lancashire on Sunday, North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said.

The attack left Mr Ormerod with a suspected spinal injury and Mr Liddle with a fractured hand.

Despite being injured, the pair continued to treat the man, before police arrived to arrest him.

NWAS sector manager Ian Walmsley said it was "absolutely abhorrent that our staff have been subject to such vile and disgusting behaviour".

"We are only human and an extremely frightening incident like this is bound to have lasting effects, not only physically, but mentally too," he added.

'Adrenaline was pumping'

The NWAS spokesman said Mr Ormerod was first to arrive in a rapid response vehicle after being called to Lane End Road at about 20:00 GMT on Sunday.

The man, who had injured his hand, "quickly become violent, lashing out and throwing punches as well as spitting blood", he said.

An off-duty police officer, who was passing, stopped to help, allowing the specialist paramedic to radio for back-up.

Mr Liddle, who arrived in an ambulance, was then also attacked by the patient.

Mr Ormerod said his "adrenaline was pumping and all I could think to do was continue to help treat this patient".

He said he was "angry" about what happened, as "both mine and my colleague's injuries could take months to heal and we need to take time away from front-line duties - something which I really don't want to do."

Both paramedics have since been discharged from hospital and are recovering at home.

Lancashire Police said an investigation into what happened was taking place.

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