Firefighters march in Johannesburg CBD following attacks on EMS crews

2019-07-26 15:57


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Joburg firefighters marched in the inner city on Friday to raise awareness about a recent spate of attacks on Emergency Management Services (EMS) personnel who tried to help residents.

In a statement, acting EMS chief Rapulane Monageng said that there was a spike in the number of assaults and hijackings of EMS crews since the beginning of 2019.

"Just in the past weeks, Emergency [Medical] Services has recorded three incidents and [there were] over 10 incidents since the beginning of January 2019," Monageng said.

Monageng said the march was aimed at educating communities about the importance of firefighters and paramedics as well as the need for communities to protect them.

"These men and women work tirelessly to save the lives and properties of all residents of the City of Johannesburg at all times."

"Emergency services personnel around the country face the daily risk of being attacked while on duty. While the challenges facing the emergency services are mounting, many in the industry wouldn’t consider a career change."

He added that the increasing prevalence of attacks on EMS personnel not only created fear and panic among those tasked with helping the community, but also disrupted service delivery to the communities.

Police escorts

In an attempt to curb the attacks, EMS and the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) identified hotspots. There, police will escort ambulance and fire engine crews who respond to calls.

"The police vehicles from the JMPD have been escorting emergency vehicles from the 3 July 2019 to date, from the stipulated times of between 22:00 to 06:00 (high-risk periods)," Monageng said.

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

Monageng gave details of attacks.

On June 27, at around 01:00, EMS officials responded to a domestic incident in Dobsonville and, while they were treating someone, two gunmen opened their ambulance door and robbed them.

On June 29 an ambulance was dispatched to the scene of an assault in Cosmo City Ext 2 where they found an injured man who had apparently been assaulted by members of the community.

"While trying to treat and stabilise the patient, the community became hostile and started to assault both the crew and patient with rocks," Monageng said.

"The crew managed to load and transport the patient to Cosmo City Fire Station where they provided further assistance in medical treatment."

A new ambulance was also damaged during the incident.

List of incidents

List of incidents EMS attacks Johannesburg

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Read more on:    ems  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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