Horror rape attack on paramedic

2010-03-09 00:00

A JOHANNESBURG Emergency Services paramedic was gang-raped at the weekend when she and a colleague responded to a call from a mother who reported her child had been burned by hot water.

According to police spokesperson Noxolo Kweza, the women were attending to the child when three armed men dragged the paramedics into the bushes outside and raped one.

Their ambulance was also stolen.

“You’d think that when you are in an ambulance, people would see you as a life saver and they wouldn’t harm you,” said Emergency Medical Services spokeswoman Nana Radebe.

In a separate incident, paramedic Chris Botha was knocked down by a tow truck while he cut an accident victim out of a mangled vehicle on Saturday, but survived. “We have to be very cautious when going into certain areas because we know that there is a possibility that criminal elements may be lurking,” he said.

ER24 spokesman Derrick Banks said: “Often when we feel threatened that we could be hijacked in a particular area, we then either ask for a police escort or go in and get the patient, and we treat the patient out of the volatile area, or even in a police station,” he said.

Because of these dangers, Netcare911 has implemented security measures to ensure its staff’s safety.

Peter Feurstein, operations director of Netcare 911, described paramedics’ safety as “a key concern and major focus area”.

“We do endeavour, where possible, to partner male and female paramedics. Apart from that, our vehicles are fitted with panic buttons as well as impact sensors and real-time tracking,” he added.

Besides these measures, Feurstein said, the backup provided by call centre operators is “the most valuable tool”.

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