Paramedic's shock as Great North Air Ambulance Service vehicle hit by brick on Bonfire Night call-out

A Great North Air Ambulance Service crew was left “shocked and disappoin ted” after their vehicle was hit with a brick on a call-out.

The incident happened on Saturday, November 5 – Bonfire Night – as two doctors and a paramedic from the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) responded to reports of an assault in their rapid response vehicle. The charity currently has a paramedic and doctor team working on a rapid response vehicle five nights a week in the North East. During the day, they operate on a helicopter.

A GNAAS statement said: “The team from GNAAS were leaving the scene at 7.40pm to head back to their base when a brick was thrown at their car, which hit the rear passenger side window

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and door.”

GNAAS paramedic Jamie Walsh and, inset, the damage caused to the vehicle on Saturday, November 5.

Colleagues from the North East Ambulance Service were also in attendance at the incident, and a brick was thrown at their vehicle.

Jamie Walsh, GNAAS paramedic, said: “The bang it made was pretty terrifying but thankfully we were all okay. Luckily it didn’t hit the centre of the window where our doctor was sitting as it would have come through and could have caused catastrophic injuries.

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"NEAS HART’s vehicle was also targeted and they had a brick thrown at their bonnet. This is not a common occurrence, so we are very shocked and disappoin ted by the incident. There was no major damage to the window or door of our vehicle so we were able to continue to respond to incidents throughout the night.”

After the vehicle was struck with the brick, the GNAAS crew were called out five more times that night.

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While the charity hopes to expand their night-time service to run seven nights a week, this can only go ahead with additional funding. As it stands, it costs £7.7million a year to keep GNAAS operational.

Jamie added: “It will still cost the charity to repair [the vehicle], and in the current economic climate every penny counts more than ever, so it’s a shame that we will have to divert funds that are normally reserved for helping critically ill or injured people, towards fixing the damage of the car.”

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The incident on Saturday happened in Trimdon Station. A patient was taken to hospital by the ambulance service.