'We cannot afford situations where we have no-go areas'- emergency services on staff attacks

2018-04-23 16:47
Ambulance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Ambulance. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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The City of Johannesburg has condemned two separate attacks on emergency services (EMS) personnel over the weekend.

Emergency services management spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi said the City was concerned about the escalation of incidents in which EMS personnel were attacked, robbed or hijacked.

He said the first incident occurred at around 19:00 on Saturday, when EMS ambulance crews were shot at while attending to an assault case in Sandringham, Johannesburg.

In the second incident, also on Saturday night, residents attacked four paramedics based at the Eldorado Park fire station, after they attended to a woman who had been assaulted in Freedom Park, allegedly by her boyfriend.

Paramedics declared the woman dead on the scene.

"Angry community members started attacking the boyfriend of the deceased. Paramedics were injured while trying to intervene to stop the angry crowd," said Mulaudzi.

He said the paramedics sustained minor injuries in the process and were taken to hospital for further treatment.

"On a weekly basis in the City of Johannesburg we hear of reports of incidents where emergency services personnel are attacked, hijacked or robbed of their belongings, while rendering an essential service to our communities," he said.

"We cannot afford situations where we have no-go areas."

Mulaudzi said communities should work together to remove criminal elements in communities.

"This behaviour not only creates fear and panic [for] the paramedics but it also affects our response times to emergencies and also disrupts service delivery to our communities," he said.

"We therefore would like to call on our communities to protect us while we do what we do best – rendering effective professional emergency services to all the residents of the City of Johannesburg."

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