Volunteer medics robbed at gunpoint in Cape Town

2018-06-09 16:26
(Community Medics, Twitter)

(Community Medics, Twitter)

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A group of volunteer paramedics have been robbed at gun and knife point while attending to patients in Du Noon, Cape Town, Community Medics said on Saturday.

The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday morning, when crews in two vehicles were assisting in the area in the Western Cape.

"[They] had their personal valuables and some of our equipment stolen," Community Medics said in a statement.

"We are glad they are physically unharmed," said the group – adding that trauma counselling was being arranged.

It said that the family of the patients, tried to assist – putting their own lives in danger. They were not harmed.

"One of our response vehicles was damaged when a brick was thrown through the widow and broke the window and damaged the door and locking mechanism on the other door."

Police, other medics and the province's health emergency services all attended to the scene.

"Stop attacks on emergency medical services!" the statement finished.

Cape Town paramedics have been soft targets for criminals over the past 18 months, with the number of incidents spiking in the second half of 2017.

"They are not military trained, they are not security personnel, they are just medical health professionals," Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Robert Daniels said in August 2017.

"Quite honestly, EMS people are suffering."

Western Cape health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo previously barred paramedics from entering "red zones", which are suburbs where paramedics have been attacked more than once, without police escort.

A Khayelitsha Magistrate's Court ruling in November sentenced a man to 12 years in prison for robbing a paramedic, with Western Cape community safety MEC Dan Plato delcaring emergency medical services personnel were note "soft targets" anymore.

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