Ambulance services in Larne, Carrick and Whiteabbey were stretched to the limit last night (Saturday) after a paramedic was attacked by a drunken teenager being treated for an alcohol overdose.
The youth, who ended up in hospital after drinking an entire bottle of spirits, lashed out an ambulance staff member and had to be accompanied by police to A&E.
During the incident, the only ambulance serving the entire Larne, Carrick and Whiteabbey area was parked up at A&E while paramedics treated their colleague.
Police have issued a plea to parents to educate and keep an eye on their children, and warned that they will be investigating the sale of the alcohol to the under-aged teen.
An officer for the PSNI in Carrickfergus said on Sunday: “Last night your Neighbourhood Team answered an assistance call from our buddies in the ambulance service. It turned out a young person had drank an entire bottle of strong spirits and wasn’t feeling too good. The alcohol brought out their aggressive side, so having assaulted one paramedic we had no choice to but to travel in the ambulance to ensure they didn’t hurt anyone else or themselves.
“After an hour or so in A&E calming them down, we left the nursing staff to it.
“The paramedic was still there waiting to be treated by their own colleagues. This meant that the only ambulance for Larne / Carrick / Whiteabbey was parked up at the hospital. In addition two police officers had spent over two hours dealing with one young person and therefore unable to respond to any further incidents. That’s before we begin to count up how much public money had been spent.
“We know you can’t wrap them up in cotton wool! But please, parents, help us to keep your kids safe! Many of us are parents ourselves, but we can’t play mum and dad to all the children of Mid & East Antrim.
“We did get the details of the person who supplied this child with alcohol, we know where they bought it and at what time. We will be speaking to that person very soon.”