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Last Updated: Thursday, 27 March 2008, 15:37 GMT

Ambulance crews trial stab vests

Ambulance crews in the West Midlands attending 999 calls are to trial the use of stab-proof vests.

It follows a report which stated there had been more than 100 assaults on staff between April 2007 and February.

The ambulance trust is also looking at reviewing the type of incidents lone crews are sent to and may withdraw the service to known violent offenders.

Four attacks on crews involved a false leg, rucksack, kettle and television remote control being used as weapons.

'At risk'

The six-month trial for staff who volunteer to wear the stab vests was agreed at a meeting of the West Midlands Ambulance NHS Trust on Wednesday.

Last year, unions said paramedics were at risk because they are were not being given the vests.

The Association of Professional Ambulance Personnel has been fighting for the vests to be given to all front-line crews for 10 years.

The government said crews can have the vests if health trusts deem it necessary but the Department of Health has not received any requests for funding for the body armour.

After staff give feedback about the trial, a decision will be made later as to whether to introduce them full time, a spokesman said.

Attacks against paramedics rise
08 Nov 07 |  England

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