Attacks on paramedics in the Western Cape is an unfortunate trend that has been rising steadily since 2019. Two more attacks on these emergency personnel have taken place since the beginning of the week, leaving paramedics on high alert.
On Monday, January 20, a paramedic’s eye was left damaged in Ravensmead as their crew was attacked while attempting to transport a patient to Tygerberg Hopsital.
While treating a patient in Atlantis on Sunday, January 19, emergency personnel were robbed, adding to the number of incidents.
According to a statement released by the Western Cape’s Department of Health, all the affected staff have been offered counselling.
“A whole-of-society approach is required to create safe environments which enable people to access the health care they require. Often these attacks take place in extremely vulnerable communities where emergency services are most needed,” it said. “The department urges all residents to protect EMS personnel while they are rendering this very important service. Please report it to the nearest police station should you witness anything.”
These two attacks mean there have been 28 incidents where paramedics have been targeted since 2019. Last year, the Department made sure to instate ‘red zones’ in areas where attacks took place. This means that the affected areas are on lockdown for 24 hours, and no paramedics are allowed to enter during this period.