Attacks on paramedics have jumped by a third, according to figures released by the NSW Ambulance Service.
"Paramedic assaults are on the increase, particularly with regard to responses involving patients affected by drugs and alcohol or mental illness," NSW Ambulance deputy director of operations for Illawarra/Sydney South West, Joel Bardsley, said.
Between January 1 and April 25, NSW Ambulance documented 65 cases of assault against paramedics across NSW, including four in the Illawarra.
These figures compare with 49 for the same period last year, and include cases of paramedics being struck, kicked and spat on. The biggest risk to paramedics is lifting heavy items.