A paramedic who was attacked by a drug addict he was trying to help has criticised HSE management and SIPTU over safety provisions for ambulance personnel.
In a victim impact statement to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Derek O'Rourke said ambulance staff were continuously attacked while on duty.
He said he felt let down by management and unions, as calls to provide personal safety equipment for paramedics were being ignored.
Mr O'Rourke was assaulted in March 2009 by 33-year-old James Doyle from Glenshane Grove in Tallaght, who was armed with a hammer and a wheel brace.
Mr O'Rourke's ambulance had been called to the scene after Mr Doyle was seen slumped over the wheel of a car in Tallaght. When paramedics approached, he became aggressive and violent.
Mr O’Rourke was hit in the arm with the wheel brace by Mr Doyle, who then chased the paramedic and threatened to kill him, before throwing the hammer at him, which missed.
In a victim impact statement, the father-of-four said he had trouble sleeping after the incident and lost income of €2,500 in overtime and allowances due to his three-week absence from work.
He declined an offer of €500 from the defendant and said he would prefer if the money was paid to charity.
Judge Pat McCartan said the courts could not condone the behaviour of Mr Doyle. He said he had behaved appallingly towards members of the ambulance service who had come to his rescue.
The judge said he had been told that Mr Doyle was a drug addict who had intended to do harm to himself.
He lost consciousness behind the wheel of a car and it was not known whether he was ever going to harm himself, but he would certainly have caused mayhem, the judge said.
Defence lawyers told the court that Mr Doyle was a recovering addict who was progressing well.
The incident in March 2009 was a "watershed" moment in his life and he had addressed his drug problem and was attending counselling. He was deeply apologetic and had €500 in cash to give to his victim.
Judge McCartan adjourned sentencing to next week after hearing that further charges could be pending against the defendant relating to earlier incidents involving the same car.