Paramedics deserve your respect, says MEC

2013-05-06 00:00

PARAMEDICS deserved respect from the public for the sacrifices they made in the course of their jobs, Health MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo said yesterday.

Addressing a prayer meeting, held in Ladysmith on Friday, to remember paramedics who died in the line of duty, Dhlomo said paramedics were the “first at accident scenes, where they are expected to quickly assess the situation and determine the proper course of action for each patient”.

He said doctors and nurses relied on the reports of paramedics to decide on further treatment for patients admitted to hospital.

“They work shifts, including evenings and weekends, going out in all weather conditions and terrains. The holiday season to them is never a time of joy as they have to be away from their families, dealing with road accidents and the people who mercilessly maim each other when under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

Dhlomo said paramedics were often psychologically scarred by the trauma they dealt with in their jobs on a daily basis.

“Our paramedics are an unarmed paramilitary unit that at times has to deal with patients’ relatives who are in most cases hysterical and, worse, in mob situations [or] deal with people who are aggressive and baying for the blood of the patient or of the one coming to offer assistance,” he said.

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