Paramedic's sight damaged after laser shone in face while on duty in Cumbria

  • Rhonda Stanger, North West Ambulance Service

A paramedic's sight was damaged after a laser pen was shone in his face while he was on duty.

This happened near Carlisle on Friday evening, when he was attending a cardiac arrest.

The green laser was shone in his face before he had time to turn away, leaving the paramedic unable to read his tablet computer - used to update medical records - and a making his eye ache.

He was assessed at hospital and cleared to resume duties.

The North West Ambulance Service though has pointed out that the consequences could have been much worse for the paramedic and for his patient.

North Cumbria sector manager Rhonda Stanger said: “It’s really disappointing to hear of this incident as it was incredibly dangerous. Thankfully, the staff member’s vision wasn’t permanently affected; however, it could have easily been different.

“Also, importantly, it could have meant they were unable to help the patient who required emergency care. And, during the period the paramedic was getting checked out at the hospital, he was unavailable to respond to other people in the community who called 999."

He added: “These types of actions against our staff are completely unacceptable. We’ve informed the police and we will always support our staff and push for prosecutions.”

In Stranraer, Police Scotland are investigating a separate incident involving laser pens, which has left some drivers suffering temporary loss of vision.