Ambulance crew held at gunpoint in Port Elizabeth

Ambulance crew held at gunpoint in Port Elizabeth

Ambulances and emergency vehicles parked at Edendale Hospital look good, but hardly any are operational. Photo: Nompendulo Ngubane/GroundUp

The EMS members were reportedly busy looking for a house when a man got out of a car and pointed a gun in their direction.

Two ambulance workers en route to assist patients were allegedly threatened at gunpoint in Port Elizabeth, the Eastern Cape department of health said in a statement on Friday.

Department spokesperson Sizwe Kupelo said two Eastern Cape Emergency Medical Services (EMS) members had a gun pointed at them on Ngoma Street in Motherwell on Thursday night.

Kupelo said that the two ambulance members escaped unharmed as the driver managed to drive off. However, a patient who had been inside the ambulance fell off the stretcher and injured her leg.

According to Kupelo, the EMS members were busy looking for a house when a man got out of a car and pointed a gun in their direction.

Kupelo called on communities to protect ambulance crews. “When communities sit and do nothing when EMS workers are threatened by thugs and ambulances pelted with stones, the consequences for people that desperately need medical help will be dire as they will not receive the help they need.”

He said there was a threat against EMS workers who went out to communities to deliver a crucial service, appeared to be continuing unabated while similar cases have been reported in other parts of the province.

“We condemn such criminality in the strongest possible terms. When ambulance crews are scared to go to some areas, and rightfully so because of the thuggery by some residents, that will create no-go areas, which cannot be tolerated in a democratic South Africa. We would like to call on communities to stop threatening ambulance workers, and instead protect them from thugs in their areas.”

The incident has since been reported to the Motherwell Police Station.

– African News Agency

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