Calling out an ambulance after what could be a traumatic experience could end in death, when paramedics attending to patients do not have the necessary equipment such as an oxygen cylinder with gauge, a glucometer, or an electronic blood pressure cuff. Paramedics are being robbed of these vital medical equipment as well as personal belongings while attending to patients, with seven incidents reported in the Western Cape this year.
The latest incident took place in Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain, with reports of paramedics in Tafelsig also being robbed. Community Police forum (CPF) chairperson Abie Isaacs said they condemn these robberies as paramedics are rendering a service and are doing their best to assist those in need of medical assistance.
“We request the community to come forward with information regarding these attacks of robbery on paramedic staff assisting the community and to assist the police in arresting these unruly criminals who are targeting EMS staff,” said Isaacs.
He appealed to EMS staff to reconsider their position as they have sited these incidents of crime as a reason to avoid servicing certain areas in Mitchell’s Plain.
Isaacs said that while assistance can be given to the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) staff, it is not always possible for SAPS or other role players to be available at all times.
“We call on the community to inform us or police regarding these incidences as EMS staff which render basic services are being denied to the community due to these criminal elements.” VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)