People's Post

Help to protect paramedics

The stolen phone recovered.
The stolen phone recovered.

After two paramedics were attacked and robbed in Seawinds, a community leader in the area went after the people that had attacked the paramedics.

At about 06:30 on Sunday 9 December, two paramedics were attacked and robbed in Seawinds, after they attended to a patient. One was punched in the face while the other was robbed of a cellphone. The community leader, Lucinda Evans, searched high and low where the incident had happened and recovered the stolen phone.

Following the incident, minister of health in the province, Nomafrench Mbombo, said she condemns, in the strongest terms, the attack on the two paramedics

Mbombo said it is unacceptable that emergency medical personnel have their lives endangered when responding to emergencies.

“I would like to urge communities to participate in keeping EMS personnel safe. A simple act such as being visible from the front door of your own home while EMS personnel tend to your neighbour is already a step in the right direction as criminals fear being positively identified. The community can also act as a valuable security resource by simply keeping an eye over an emergency vehicle parked outside the patient’s home while the crew is busy tending to the patient inside the home.”

Mbombo said they have made significant progress in terms of keeping the attacks down, and have seen a decrease of just under 50% in reported attacks from the previous financial year.

“The Western Cape Government Health would like to express a special word of thanks and appreciation to their colleagues in the Department of Community Safety, City of Cape Town, and the police for their continued support,” she said.

The great partnership and cooperation between the departments of Health and Community Safety and police have already yielded positive results,with a criminal handed a 12-year jail term after he was convicted of robbery with aggravated circumstances involving EMS personnel and resources.

“I wish the paramedics a speedy recovery from this traumatic event. This thuggish behaviour is completely unacceptable and I call on communities to share any information they might have with SAPS, so that a swift arrest can be made. We have seen in the past that when communities assist the police swift arrests are possible, as was the case when a sergeant used a tipoff to apprehend five individuals who robbed an EMS personnel member,” said minister of community safety, Alan Winde.

“These criminals must face the full might of the law, as their actions have a direct effect on the most vulnerable in society. They are making it extremely difficult for EMS personnel to effectively do their work, as they have to fulfil their duties in constant fear. I implore our neighbourhood watches, community policing forums and other community safety structures to assist our emergency staff when they are in high crime areas, so that patients receive the care they deserve,” Winder continued.

The incident is being investigated.

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