Keep your hands off our ambulances!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Law enforcement agencies are being roped in to deal with the spate of sporadic attacks on ambulances in various districts in the Eastern Cape.

Provincial Health MEC Helen Sauls-August made the announcement on Friday.

“Emergency Services (EMS) is there to save lives of the most vulnerable and indigent people who require urgent medical attention at our health facilities. Attacks on these emergency vehicles means fewer vehicles will be available to respond to emergency calls,” said Sauls-August.

In the past four weeks, 11 ambulances responding to emergency calls and transporting patients to health facilities were attacked in  Mzamomhle, Keiskamahoek, Dimbaza, Peddie, King Williams Town, Alice, Fort Beaufort, Tsholomnqa and Duncan Village. 

“These cases have all been reported to South African Police Services in the relevant police stations. They have also been referred to the crime intelligence and State Security for further, specialized investigation. There have been no fatalities from the attacks,” said the MEC.

Sauls-August condemned the attacks and called on the community to support the department and police to prevent further attacks.

“We call on all communities to be on the lookout for attacks on EMS personnel and vehicles. They must immediately alert South African Police Service or call our 24 hour customer careline,” she said.

She commended personnel who, despite these attacks continue to deliver services to communities.

“The department is committed to ensuring the safety of emergency personnel and patients on transit to health facilities. It calls out on communities to assist in bringing the culprits forward, but also to ensure that when ambulances respond to emergency calls they are protected by the community,” said Sauls-August.  

People can report the attacks immediately to the SAPS number (08600 10111) or departmental 24hr call centre (0800 032 364). -