A PARAMEDIC was assaulted by a patient in Coffs Harbour on Monday night in an incident that's angered the NSW Ambulance Service.
The paramedic was attacked as he treated a man en-route to hospital.
The attack was said to be so violent the ambulance driver was forced to pull over near Isles Dr around 11.30pm.
Police officers responded and with the help of a police dog detained the offender.
The assault is the sixth incident of abuse against paramedics in Northern NSW so far in 2013.
Chief Superintendent Peter Pilon, NSW Ambulance Deputy Director, Operations for the North Coast, called for a zero tolerance approach to any form of violence towards paramedics.
"Ambulance has a clear message - we are not punching bags and you will not be excused for attacking us," Supt. Pilon said.
"You may be in a difficult time, but paramedics are there to help you.
"Lashing out at us is never, ever okay.
The latest attack happened as the man was treated in the rear of the ambulance.
"The paramedic who was driving had to call for help, stop the vehicle and run around to help get the patient away from his partner and out of the vehicle," Supt Pilon said.
Paramedics retreated and waited for police.
They later helped to subdue the man, who is now facing charges.
"Thankfully, our paramedic suffered a minor leg injury and was not more seriously injured, but it's clearly disgusting anyone would ever assault a paramedic doing their job," Supt. Pilon said.
"Six assaults in Northern NSW in two months is appalling and it's important to note these are just the reported assaults."
THE HIT LIST - ASSAULTS ON PARAMEDICS - NORTHERN NSW 2013
Kingscliff, February 24
Paramedics were called to help a patient who had allegedly collapsed. As they commenced treatment, the patient became aggressive, swinging a nearby chair at them. They moved back into their ambulance and called for police. While waiting, the patient continued to hit their ambulance and verbally abuse them. Police charges are expected.
Port Macquarie, February 9
Paramedics were preparing a patient for transport to hospital when the patient struck a paramedic with a fist on the shoulder before throwing a mobile phone towards his face, narrowly missing. The patient was transported to hospital and police charges will be laid.
Grafton, February 4
A paramedic was slapped on the face and punched in the chest by a patient he was treating, leaving his glasses smashed. Police have charged the patient.
Port Macquarie, February 4
A paramedic was struck on the arm by a patient who reacted to having his temperature taken at hospital. The patient was taken into police custody.
Mullumbimby, February 4
A paramedic transporting a patient on a spinal board was assaulted and suffering deep scratch marks.
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