The Gauteng MEC for Health Dr Nomathemba Mokgethi has called on members of society to help put an end to continuing attacks on Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel while in the line of duty.
In a recent attack during the night of Friday 7th May, two EMS crew members were shot while responding to a gunshot incident at Dukathole Informal settlement In Germiston. This resulted in one crew member being hit by a bullet. Both crew members were admitted to a nearby hospital. One crew member is still in hospital in a stable condition while the other is going for counseling.
The attack slowed down the emergency response to the fatally wounded resident who, unfortunately died on the way to 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”, states Dr Mokqethi.
At the beginning of May a woman EMS crew member was attacked at gunpoint while on duty leaving her on crutches. While in another incident, a shift leader and her crew were attacked by community members in Magalies while responding to a distress call.
According to MEC Mokgethi, an attack on EMS should be seen as an attack on the rest of society, “We therefore condemn in the strongest possible terms the continued attacks on our Green Angels (a name EMS personnel are fondly called). The last thing we want is for EMS workers to start fearing for their lives instead of being concerned about saving as many lives as possible”.
Members of the community who may have any information relating to any of the attack incidents have been asked to assist the police in their investigation.
Issued by the Gauteng Department of Health.