'We're here for people's welfare': Paramedics attacked
PARAMEDICS have endured a terrifying attack where a man wielding a pole savagely smashed in the windscreen of their ambulance at a Maryborough intersection.
A senior officer and student paramedic were transporting a patient from the Maryborough CBD to Hervey Bay hospital when they were flagged down by a man at a set of traffic lights about 12.05am Tuesday.
Police will allege the man pulled out a metal pole, striking the front of the windscreen and sending glass flying into eye of one of the paramedics.
The injured driver backed away from the corner of Lennox and Sussex Streets and called for help.
The senseless attack comes just weeks after a Victorian judge allowed two women, who drunkenly bashed a paramedic so badly he was unable to work again, to escape jail time.
The 63-year-old paramedic was punched and left with a broken foot following the attack.
Officer in Charge at Maryborough Ambulance Station Marco Polino said yesterday the paramedics in Tuesday's attack took immediate action.
"The crew has immediately taken evasive action and put the vehicle into reverse and retreated from the scene while calling for police assistance urgently," he said.
"Thankfully QLD police were within the area and responded within 30 to 60 seconds and arrived on scene to assist us."
After being taken to hospital for treatment, the injured paramedic was discharged about 3.15am.
A Queensland Police spokesman said the man who attacked the paramedics was receiving treatment in hospital.
Mr Polino said the paramedics were understandably shaken.
"It was a very unexpected occurrence and it's happened in the early hours of the morning," he said.
"It resulted in them being out of service for a fairly significant amount of time of the evening which potentially could have impacted on our ability to respond to the community here in Maryborough and Hervey Bay."
Repair costs of the vehicle are expected to exceed $1,500 and may take up to a fortnight to complete.
"We've got a number of ambulance vehicles and officers on call throughout the evening across the Fraser Coast," Mr Polino said.
"Taking one of these vehicles offline would have had a significant impact on operations throughout the night."
Mr Polino said the patient awaiting transportation to Hervey Bay Hospital was in a stable condition at the time of the attack and was able to wait for a second ambulance to arrive.
However, the incident delayed the patient's treatment.
In response to recent attacks on paramedics, Mr Polino said violence towards paramedics would not be tolerated and offenders would be prosecuted "to the full extent of the law".
"At the end of the day, we're here for people's welfare," he said.
"We're here to care for the community and it just blows my mind that someone would want to do something like this to the people that are here to care for them."