Garda investigations are underway after three paramedics were injured in two attacks in Cork since Sunday.
In one of the incidents, an advanced paramedic was thrown down a stairs and threatened with a knife.
The incident occurred in the Mahon area of the city just before midnight on Tuesday.
An advanced paramedic was responding to a call about an unconscious teenager in a house in Elm Close. It is believed drugs and alcohol were involved.
However, when the teen was revived, he became aggressive and a struggle ensued. The teen threw the paramedic down the stairs but was pulled down at the same time.
The paramedic suffered extensive bruising to his ribs and back.
Moments later, the paramedic was threatened with a knife and retreated to his vehicle, where he called for Garda support. A 16-year-old boy arrested at the scene under the provisions of the Public Order Act was later released without charge. It is understood a file will now be prepared for the Garda National Juvenile Office.
On Sunday, an ambulance was called to treat an unconscious male at a house in Ardmore Avenue, Knocknaheeny, at around 8.30am. Again, it is believed alcohol and drugs were involved.
As the two-person medical team entered the house, the man became aggressive.
One paramedic was kicked and suffered a dislocated thumb. Her partner, who tried to restrain the man, suffered back injuries.
They retreated to their ambulance and called for Garda backup.
A man in his late 20s arrested at the scene a short time later was later released without charge and a file is being prepared for the DPP.
The two paramedics drove themselves to hospital for treatment. All three are now out of work due to their injuries.
Siptu’s Paul Bell said that the attacks highlight the dangers faced by frontline emergency staff and the need for tougher legislation.
“Attacks like this are becoming more prevalent,” he said. “It is a constant problem which is not being properly grappled. The legislation is not robust enough.
“We have been promised for many years that it will be addressed with robust legislation but still, it is a growing problem.”
He said that, as well as the injuries to frontline staff, the community has also lost a valuable medical resource until the paramedics are well enough to resume work.
Mr Bell appealed to anyone who dials 999 for an ambulance or fire brigade to alert the call-taker if they believe there could be a threat of violence.
“The call will not be delayed. It will simply allow the controller to ask gardaí for assistance,” he said.