NHS paramedic trolled for make-up selfie wants tougher punishments for those who attack emergency workers

A PARAMEDIC who was trolled for posting selfies with make-up on is calling for tougher punishments for people who attack emergency workers.

Laura Heath, 25, says she still feels “fragile” after a man verbally abused and tried to attack her.

The medic, who has been at her job for only a year has revealed she has also been threatened with a knife and suffered sexual abuse.

She said: “Last Christmas Day, I had a knife pulled out on me whilst at work.

“Last night, I was trying to treat a patient until he decided to assault me.

“No person should go to work fearing for their safety. I am one of many, it needs to stop.”

Although she refused to divulge where the latest ordeal occurred to protect patient confidentiality, she said she has decided not to press charges.

She added: “He attempted to assault me but missed and it was verbal assault.”

Laura, who works for the West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation says she has had to endure a barrage of abuse while at work.

“So, I’ve experienced multiple types varying from physical, verbal, a threat with weapons and sexual,” she said.

“I feel that more awareness needs to be raised on assault at work as the figures are so high and keep on rising, there were 472 cases of physical assault reported to the trust for 2019/2020 and 768 verbal assaults.

“A few months ago, two members of the trust were tragically stabbed which you probably heard about, it was all over the news.

“In comparison to them, I’m extremely lucky.”

Deena Evans and Michael Hipgrave were both stabbed when they attended a 999 call in Wolverhampton on July 6.

They both recovered from their injuries and Deena going back to work in October.  

Meanwhile, Laura described her own terrifying experience of being threatened with a knife.

She said: “I was responding to a job which came through as a concern for welfare, I was informed that the patient was verbally aggressive to the call taker and the patient requested that we hurried up.

“We arrived where the patient was stood outside on the side of the road, we pulled over and he then came running towards the passenger side of the ambulance where I was sat, I locked myself and my crewmate in, he then tried to open the door whilst pointing a knife at my face and tapping it on the window whilst passing aggressive comments.

“The police then arrived and took appropriate action.”

Laura says offenders must be given harsher punishments after the man was sentenced to just under two years for the incident.

“I think offenders need to be given the toughest most severe sentence possible in order to reduce the number of incidents happening, I think people need to also drink responsibly,” she said.

“There will always be an element of the job where you are walking into the unknown and a potentially dangerous situation, I’m hoping by bringing awareness it will make people think twice before abusing us!”

At the height of the coronavirus outbreak in the country, Laura was savagely trolled on social media for posting a selfie of herself at work wearing make-up.

The snap, which went viral was liked more than 86,000 times and received over 32,000 comments.

Some critics in the comments questioned why she was so “heavily made-up” while others said it was a “time-wasting look”.

She told the hosts of Good Morning Britain in August that one vile critic said she was to blame for the rising number of coronavirus deaths in the UK.

At the time, she said: “I posted the picture because it was my own personal profile and I sometimes post pictures of myself in or out of uniform.

“I felt a bit low in confidence, it was the middle of the pandemic, and I had a proud moment. I wanted to post a picture in uniform saying I'm proud of my job and what I do.”

The widow of PC Andrew Harper, Lissie has called on Parliament to pass a new law in his name that would require a mandatory life sentence for people who kill emergency workers.

The policeman was killed in August 2019 by three men who dragged him for more than a mile while he was entangled in a tow rope of their getaway car after a robbery.

Henry Long, the driver of the car was ordered to serve 16 years behind bars for manslaughter, while his accomplices, Albert Bowers and Jessie Cole received 13 years each for the same crime.


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