Four ambulance crews were attacked on a very busy Eleventh night for the service.
The physical and verbal assaults included one member of staff being punched in the face, and led to a loss of some cover in towns including Dungannon, Craigavon and Newcastle for periods of up to three hours.
Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) control centre staff also dealt with a 21% rise in calls compared to the same period last year – up to 447.
NIAS chief executive, Michael Bloomfield, has shared his anger at attacks against ambulance staff working to help people and save lives.
“Our staff in the control room and on the road are being stretched to the limit,” he said.
“I am aware that a number of our staff have been verbally or physically abused. I share the anger of our staff that these assaults continue to occur. Our staff are there for one purpose only – and that is to keep people safe.
“I ask you to please help us over the remainder of the holiday weekend to ensure that they, themselves, are kept safe and protected from these assaults.”
He also thanked them for their hard work, adding: “I want to express my sincere thanks, and those of the senior team, to them all for the commitment and dedication to duty which they have displayed.”
Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service, on the other hand, had a relatively quiet night while its staff suffered no attacks.
NIFRS chief Walmsley tweeted at 1.45am: “NIFRS Command Room closing at 0200hrs, 10 ongoing operational incidents with 4 bonfire related. Delighted to report no attacks on our crews and appliances tonight across the province.”
He said just a few minutes earlier that “between 1800hrs yesterday and 0100hrs this morning, NIFRS received 136 emergency calls, mobilising to 91 operational incidents, 34 of which were bonfire related. This represents a 40% decrease in bonfire related incidents compared to last year.”
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