By Denna Bowman
A paramedic was threatened and his emergency car was vandalised and had its tyres slashed while he was treating a toddler for burns to her back.
A gang of children, some understood to be as young as six-years-old, slashed the tyres and spat on the rapid response vehicle in Bolton on Sunday afternoon.
The vehicle was set upon while it was parked outside the home of the injured girl, Leah Keane, and the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said lives had been put at risk by the gang’s “mindless acts of abuse”.
Leah’s father, Eddie Keane, said the perpetrators were a “disgrace”.
His daughter had been playing with her grandmother, when she rolled over near to the hot copper piping feeding into the radiators.
He said: “We phoned for a paramedic and a first response vehicle attended pretty quickly.
“He was treating her in the house when he said I’ve just got to go out to the car to get some stuff to help my daughter.
“Minutes later he came in and looked a bit shocked, saying his car had been vandalised.”
Mr Keane said the paramedic had phoned for an ambulance to convey her to hospital, and in the meantime the gang continued to abuse him, shouting insults and threats at him.
It became so bad he was forced to ring the police for back-up.
“Police cars and armed officers attended, it’s not something you expect to have to happen when all you want to do is get your little girl to hospital,” Mr Keane added.
She was treated with a special water cooling gel and is making a good recovery.
An NWAS spokeswoman added: “It is shocking to hear that these individuals have damaged an ambulance vehicle whilst the ambulance crew was treating a sick patient.
“We have had to take a valuable life-saving resource off the road whilst the vehicle is repaired, which can risk lives.”