KZN paramedics attacked

2015-01-18 14:11
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - KwaZulu-Natal's MEC for health was angered by an attack on three paramedics who were trying to help an assault victim in Umlazi on Sunday morning.

"I am utterly disgusted by this senseless attack by unscrupulous thugs on our emergency workers.

"This type of behaviour thwarts our efforts and ability to respond speedily to incidents in order to save lives," MEC Sibongiseni Dhlomo's office said in a statement.

"We really cannot afford to have a situation whereby our staff members are unable to discharge their duties freely, without having to worry about being attacked."

Three paramedics were looking for the address of an assault victim who called for help around 04:00, when six men, some armed, confronted them.

"The paramedics were ordered out the ambulance, forced to lie on the floor and then robbed of their cellphones and wallets. A Blood Pressure Cuff [testing device] was also taken from the vehicle.

"Fortunately, the paramedics were not harmed."

They were taken to hospital, but discharged.

Dhlomo reiterated a call to the community to protect paramedics.

In October 2014, an ambulance with two crew members was hijacked while transporting two patients from KwaMakhutha Clinic to hospital.

One crew member managed to flee, but his colleague was bundled into the back of the vehicle along with the patients. The vehicle was later abandoned.

"These incidents are unacceptable and really need to stop," said the MEC.

Provincial police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker could not immediately confirm the attack.

The situation regarding the initial assault victim was not immediately clear.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime
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