The Telegraph revealed last week that ambulance crews in Coventry and Warwickshire were facing an alarming rise in physical assaults.
Gary Huggins is one paramedic among the 80 West Midlands crew members who have been assaulted in the past six months.
It was a Wednesday morning in August when paramedics Gary Huggins and Andrew Skillern responded to a 999 call in Coventry.
They were called out to examine a 43-year-old man in Stoke, who had complained of severe stomach pain.
But the crew were unable to help him and the patient grew angry, sprang out of bed and attacked both ambulance men.
Gary, aged 45, a father-of-five, from Tile Hill, Coventry, suffered a broken nose after he was butted by the attacker, while Andrew, aged 40, was punched in the groin.
Their attacker has pleaded guilty at Coventry Magistrates’ Court to one charge of common assault and one charge of aggravated bodily harm. He will be sentenced later this month.
Describing his terrifying ordeal, Gary said: “When we arrived at the house there was a man lying in bed holding his stomach complaining of pain.
“He had been to the hospital two days prior and given medication, but he had not taken it.
“We explained that by not taking the medicine he was not going to get better. We told him there was nothing we could do.
“After that he got very angry and punched my colleague in the testicles.
“Then as I was walking out of the room he jumped out of bed, ran over to me, raining blows against the back of my head.
“As I turned around to restrain him he head-butted me and broke my nose. I had to go to hospital for treatment.
“I’ve been in pain for the past couple of months – but there is not a lot you can do with a broken nose.”
The assault was upsetting for his wife, Michelle, aged 38, a nurse, and five children – Simone, aged 18, Charlotte, aged 15, Danielle, aged 14, Tom, aged 13, and 10-year-old Harry.
Gary has worked for West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust in Coventry city centre for 21 years.
This is the first serious physical assault he has experienced on the job.
He said: “This was a totally unexpected assault. We are sometimes involved in conflicts or family disputes when people are high on drugs or alcohol.
“But I’ve never had this happen to me on a Wednesday morning.”
Steve Elliker, security management specialist for West Midlands Ambulance Service Trust, is responsible for tackling violence and aggression against staff.
He said: “This assault is different from the norm. It did not happen on a Friday or Saturday night in the city centre, but on a Wednesday morning at a home address.
“We are pushing the prosecution as far as we can and hopefully we will have a satisfying conclusion in the end.”
Between April 2006 and March 2007 there were 100 physical assaults on West Midlands paramedics – 23 of them in Coventry and Warwickshire.
There have been 28 successful convictions so far.
The service has this month launched a safety-awareness drive among staff.