Homes out of bounds for ambulance crews

Paramedics, police and passers-by tried to help the teenager
Paramedics, police and passers-by tried to help the teenager

Ambulance crews are prevented from entering almost 170 addresses in the North East amid fears for their safety, new figures have shown.

The Scottish Ambulance Service has marked 2,557 homes across Scotland as “red flagged” – where paramedics can only go in to respond to a 999 call with the presence of a police officer.

The statistics, which show a current snapshot in time rather than any historic trends, were obtained by the Scottish Conservatives through Freedom of Information.

North East region MSP Tom Mason said the numbers exposed the challenges hardworking ambulance staff have to put up with on a daily basis.

He also called for tougher action from courts on those who assault or intimidate emergency workers.

The new figures can be broken down to cities and regions, but no further due to patient confidentiality.

There are currently 169 “red-flagged” addresses in and around Aberdeen/Shire and 74 in the Highlands IV postcode, and 14 in the North postcodes HS and KW.

Mr Mason said: “It’s well-documented just how vital a role lifesaving ambulance workers play in Scotland.

“So it’s quite shocking to see there are more than 2,500 Scottish addresses where they can’t safely go about their work.

“It is hugely surprising to find out so many of these addresses are in the AB postcode area. No paramedic should ever fear for their own wellbeing, especially when they are dedicating their lives to helping others.

“We clearly need to do more to keep them safe, which means tough action from the courts when those assaulting, or threatening to assault, ambulance workers are caught.

“That’s the least we could do to ensure these brave and indispensable employees can go about their work safely and effectively.”