A RED Cross ambulance staff member was injured after vandals smashed an ambulance windscreen as it was on the way to help a patient.

At about 2pm on Sunday, reports were received that an ambulance had been struck with a metal object next to Byker Metro Station, Newcastle.

While the windscreen was damaged, the driver managed to keep the vehicle on the road.

A spokesman from the British Red Cross said: “We can confirm that a British Red Cross ambulance operated by our ambulance support service with the North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) was damaged after an object was thrown at the vehicle in Newcastle.

“Two staff members on board were on their way to treat a patient when the incident happened. One was left injured, and the other attended hospital as a precaution.

“The welfare and safety of our staff and volunteers is of the utmost importance to us. We are deeply concerned by this incident, and we will work alongside NEAS and Northumbria Police to help bring the person or people responsible to justice.

"The Red Cross operates ambulances from our bases in Newcastle and Teesside on behalf of the NEAS. We work alongside partners across the UK to help people in crisis.”

Enquiries to trace those responsible are ongoing and police are appealing for anyone with information about those involved to get in touch.

Chief Inspector John Heckels said: "Not only is this extremely dangerous but it is a criminal offence and offenders could be prosecuted.

"Luckily, nobody has been seriously injured but if it wasn't for the quick actions of the driver this vehicle could have left the road and people may have been seriously hurt.

"Those responsible may think this is just harmless fun but they are putting lives at risk through reckless and cowardly actions. This has to stop now.

"We would ask parents to make sure they know what their children are up to and to warn them about the consequences of this type of behaviour.

"If adults are doing this then we want to warn you that you will face criminal prosecution and you will be put before the courts."

Alan Gallagher, head of risk at North East Ambulance Service (NEAS), said: “A Red Cross crew responding to a patient on our behalf was hit by an object thrown from a bridge on March 18 in the Byker area of Newcastle whilst travelling to a patient.

“The health, safety and welfare of our staff is of the upmost importance. We take every precaution possible to ensure that our staff are safe whilst at work and are working closely with Northumbria Police to bring the culprit to justice.

“All frontline crews are here to help the public and to be subjected to any type of violence while doing their job is unacceptable.

“Luckily there was no patient on board but both crew members were hit by glass and were very shaken. The patient they were travelling to also experienced an additional 30 minutes delay whilst we dispatched another crew.

“Disruptions like this to our service put our staff and patients at risk and having vehicles off the road adds unnecessary additional pressure to our service.”

  • Anyone who saw the incident, or has information that may help police identify those involved, should call police on 101 quoting log 629 18/03/18.