The Western Cape government health’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) strongly condemns the recent attack on two EMS paramedics while attending to a patient in Ocean View.
The incident occurred at 03:00 on Friday 18 September. After loading the patient into the vehicle, the paramedics got into the ambulance.
The male responder got into the driver side of the ambulance, started the vehicle and was then approached by three men.
One of the suspects held the paramedic at gunpoint.
As soon as the EMS paramedic saw the suspects and the gun, he reacted swiftly and pulled away from the scene.
He then proceeded to a safe area and informed his colleague and the patient, who was in the vehicle, about what had transpired. The patient was then taken to False Bay Hospital.
Although there were no physical injuries, the EMS officials were severely traumatised following the incident.
The incident was reported to Ocean View police and the paramedics have received counselling.
There’s been a worrying increase in attacks on EMS staff. For 2019, the total staff attacks stood at 30. This year’s staff attacks so far – for the period from Wednesday 1 January to Friday 18 September – stand at 46.
A statement released by EMS read that most attacks do not result in serious physical injuries but essential health services are often disrupted.
“The poor response time is most severely felt by the most vulnerable. These attacks leave staff traumatised and fearing for their lives while fulfilling their duties. They go above and beyond the call of duty, by risking their lives daily to save the lives of the vulnerable people in communities. Western Cape health department is, therefore, urging the public to protect and support EMS officials and immediately report these incidents to their nearest police station.”