The South African Emergency Personnel’s Union (SAEPU) is calling on its members to be vigilant when attending calls during this lockdown period. Four incidents were reported last week in two provinces, Gauteng and Western Cape. On Sunday a crew from Lavender hill in Cape Town attended a call in Lavender hill and got attacked on their way back to the base. An armed unknown man approached them and pointed a gun at their Ambulance; fortunately they managed to make a way to Steenberg police station without injuries but with damaged Ambulance as it were stoned.
On Saturday at around 17h00 a crew has managed to escape hijacking while on their way to pick up night shift staff in Browns farm in Phillipi. Another unfortunate incident took place in Green haven. A crew was assaulted by a patient’s family on allegations that they wanted to decide where the patient must be taken to.
We want to remind these perpetrators that they are not Paramedics until they go to school to work hard for such qualifications and they must refrain from choosing where a patient must be taken to. If they know what to do or where to take patients they must do so and stop calling personnel only to undermine them with their orders.
On Sunday 29 March a crew from ODI Base in Gauteng was hijacked and robbed at gun point. The crew was busy with a patient inside an Ambulance when two unknown armed men approached and pointed a gun at them demanding their belongings. They took their cell phones and money.
We want to applaud Khayelitsha police who managed to arrest suspects who robbed a crew on another incident at Site B. These arrests are seen as a way forward because we report many cases but with no arrests being made. In February Ladybrand police in Free State arrested a suspect on the same charges which was the first victory for our members who are victims of the ongoing attacks.
We are calling on magistrate to give them a harsh sentence as a form of sending strong message to those who are still planning to rob and attack EMS Personnel.
On other incidents we are calling on anyone with information that may lead to the arrest of the perpetrators to contact us or SAPS.
Issued by The South African Emergency Personnel’s Union