News24 Wire
1 minute read
9 May 2021
8:02 pm

Emergency services could be withdrawn due to attacks on staff in Gauteng

News24 Wire

Two paramedics were responding to an incident where a person had been shot and wounded when they came under fire.

KZN EMS were at the scene on the N11 where four people died. Photo: Arrive Alive

Violent communities in Gauteng could be left without essential emergency services due to attacks on EMS personnel.

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel have been robbed, assaulted or shot at in the line of duty.

The recent incident took place on Friday, where two EMS officials survived an attack.

Two paramedics were responding to an incident where a person had been shot and wounded in the Dukathole informal settlement, Germiston, when they came under fire.

Gauteng Health MEC Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi said while attending to the wounded person, shots were fired at the paramedics.

“This resulted in one crew member being hit by a bullet and rushed to hospital. The attack on EMS slowed down the emergency response to the wounded resident who, unfortunately, died on the way to the hospital.”

“Unless communities work together with law enforcement agencies to put an end to the attacks on EMS personnel, and the vandalism of their equipment, people needing emergency medical care might find themselves without assistance as workers will be reluctant to respond to calls.”

The two paramedics were admitted to a nearby hospital.

One paramedic was hospitalised, while the other was discharged and is attending trauma counselling.

Mokgethi said earlier this month, a female EMS crew member was attacked at gunpoint while on duty.

In another separate incident, a shift leader and her crew were attacked by residents in Magaliesburg while responding to a distress call.

“An attack on EMS should be seen as an attack on the rest of society. We condemn the continued attacks on EMS personnel. The last thing we want is for EMS workers to start fearing for their lives instead of saving as many lives as possible.”

Mokgethi pleaded with anyone with information on the attacks to come forward or contact the police.