Fire and ambulance workers in the West Midlands have been attacked as they tried to save lives because of a "culture of violence" sweeping through the region, an MP has warned.
Some members of the public saw attacking the emergency services as "a game designed for kicks", said Adrian Bailey (Lab West Bromwich West).
Speaking in the House of Commons, he backed calls for new laws to create a specific offence of impeding the work of the emergency services.
He said: "I have several examples from the West Midlands. A couple of years ago, there was an incident at West Bromwich bus station when two female ambulance service personnel answered a distress call. On arriving, they found someone who was drunk and who proceeded to assault them physically.
As if that were not bad enough, some more drunken young people weighed in on the assault, although it might have been thought that those two ladies would have enjoyed the support of the public.
"Not only was the assault a disturbing and traumatic experience for those two young ladies, but their services were lost to the ambulance service for a considerable time. It is an appalling reflection on our society that such assaults should go unprosecuted."
He added: "In the West Midlands, in 2004 there were 76 attacks on firefighters, and in 2005 there were no fewer than 143.
"We should be cautious about the use of such statistics, because they may reflect an increase in reporting and a greater awareness of the problem, but one incident in Coventry stands out, in which someone tried to drop a car battery on a firefighter from the 16th floor of a tower block.
"Happily, it missed, but one can only wonder at the vicious mindlessness of someone who is prepared to perpetrate such an attack. Public service workers who have to run such risks in carrying out their duties deserve our sympathy and support."
Another example involved a young boy who was impaled on a bicycle, he said. "Other young people stood around and, to use that perverse phrase, indulged in happy slapping - that is, taking photographs on their mobile phones of his pain and discomfiture.
"The emergency services arrived and the young people surrounding the lad obstructed them and prevented them from giving the young lad the attention he desperately needed."
He warned: "In a small but significant number of areas, there seems to be a culture in which violence against members of the public services is a game designed for kicks."
Mr Bailey was speaking in support of a private Members' Bill sponsored by MP Alan Williams (Lab Swansea West).
Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart said the Govern-ment will back the proposals.