City of Joburg says there is no 'shutdown' of ambulance services to Cosmo City after mob attack

2019-07-02 19:12
(File, PE Express)

(File, PE Express)

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The City of Johannesburg says there is no "shutdown" of its ambulance services to Cosmo City following an attack on paramedics in the area last week.

"There is no 'shutdown' of the ambulance service to Cosmo City or anywhere in the city. In light of the attack on the ambulance crew at Cosmo City, we are now screening calls coming from these hot spots," the spokesperson for the public safety department, Luyanda Longwe, said in a statement on Tuesday.

"If the call is to attend to a volatile situation or suspicious caller that cannot give us a precise location or description of the emergency, we will deploy the necessary resources to be escorted by the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department [JMPD] and/or SAPS.

"Each call will be assessed individually accordingly to merits, type and level of emergency."

This comes after an emergency management services (EMS) ambulance crew was attacked while on a call to Cosmo City on June 28.

READ: Johannesburg ambulance crew attacked in Cosmo City by vigilante mob

"When the crew arrived at the scene and attempted to provide medical treatment to the injured person, they were confronted by a mob. The patient was allegedly injured as a result of a mob justice assault," Longwe said.

The mob turned on the EMS crew attempting to assist the injured patient whom the community believed was responsible for someone's death in the area.

The crew was able to flee the scene unharmed, but the ambulance was damaged as a result of the incident.

News24 previously reported that EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said it was forced to withdraw ambulance services until further notice to the community of Cosmo City.

Longwe said this was misinterpreted as a "shutdown".

"The EMS spokesperson communicated the incident at the time on social media and other media inquiries.

"However, the temporary withdrawal of the ambulance service to Cosmo City was misinterpreted as a 'shutdown' of emergency medical rescue services to the residents. This is entirely incorrect," Longwe clarified.

"When EMS members or emergency vehicles are attacked or damaged, it inevitably results in service delivery taking a knock.

"While the City will ensure that service levels are not impacted, we do expect possible delays in dispatching ambulances to Cosmo City due to the precautionary measures and the damaged ambulance having been taken for repairs," Longwe concluded.

Read more on:    ems  |  johannesburg  |  service delivery  |  crime  |  health
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