TWO ambulance paramedics are suffering from severe trauma after being attacked in Dublin city centre by a man they were trying to help.
They were punched in the face, and one received a cut over the eye, when the man they were giving medical assistance to flew into a rage and attacked them.
The attack happened on Westmoreland Street in the early hours of Easter Sunday.
It is also believed the attacker was wielding a bottle when he assaulted the Dublin Fire Brigade ambulance crew.
One of the paramedics received a cut above the eye, while the other received facial bruising.
Both men were treated for their injuries after the incident, which happened at around 4.30am.
Gardai later arrested a 31-year-old man and questioned him at Pearse Street Garda Station.
He was charged with public order offences before being released and is due to appear in court on April 23.
The injured ambulance crew members are based at Phibsboro Fire Station.
They two men are not expected to return to work for several days.
A fire service spokesman said the men's injuries would heal, but the trauma they suffered would take longer to be forgotten.
"Time and time again this is a risk that firefighters and paramedics are having to face on a day-to-day basis," said the emergency services spokesman.
"Personnel have been injured before and no doubt they will be injured again, and crews can never be sure where the dangers lurk.
"A call-out that seems like a fairly straightforward one can suddenly turn nasty, as this latest attack shows," he added.
Dublin Fire Brigade crews have also had missiles thrown at their vehicles with devastating consequences
In June 2006, fireman Jonathan Forbes suffered serious facial injuries when a bottle was thrown through the window of the fire tender as he travelled to a blaze in Clontarf.
He required 35 stitches, and also suffered a chipped bone and severe bruising.
Emergency vehicles are now fitted with toughened 'bandit glass' in their windows to prevent them shattering if hit with objects.
In March last year this reinforced glass helped prevent injury to an ambulance crew on a 999 call on the Cloverhill Road in Clondalkin.
The vehicle had to be removed from service while it underwent repairs at the Dublin Fire Brigade depot on Stanley Street.
"If it hadn't been for the strength of the glass, the driver could have been seriously injured," said a Dublin Fire Brigade spokesman.