PARAMEDICS faced the ordeal of treating their own colleagues after an ambulance crashed on its way to a 999 call.

An investigation was launched after the emergency vehicle collided with a white Ford Transit van on the B3078 Cranborne Road on Tuesday afternoon.

Both vehicles were travelling north at the time of the crash.

A South West Ambulance Service spokeswoman said a female paramedic had suffered serious injuries in the crash at the turning to Woodlands.

Her male colleague and two people travelling in the van, including the 46-year-old male driver, sustained minor injuries.

The female paramedic, who has not been named, was flown by air ambulance to Poole hospital. The other casualties were also treated at Poole.

Emergency services were scrambled at 2.40pm, roads were closed for several hours and diversions set up while the scene was examined by police forensic collision investigators.

The spokesman said a full investigation was under way.

The trust's chief executive Ken Wenman said: "My thoughts and wishes are with each of the individuals who were unfortunately involved in the collision.

"I was very saddened to learn that a female member of staff had sustained injuries and I wish her, her crewmate and the two people in the other vehicle a rapid, full recovery at this difficult time.

"I appreciate it cannot have been easy for the staff who were sent to the scene to treat their colleagues and I would like to thank them."

There were no patients on board the vehicle when the accident happened and another ambulance was immediately dispatched to the original incident.

Police are appealing for witnesses and anyone who saw either vehicle before the crash should call 01202 222222.