Medics caught in crossfire



November 2, 2016
Medics caught in crossfire

WARNING: Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo

Ambulance damaged, no injuries to occupants.

An ambulance was damaged and paramedics escaped death after they were caught in crossfire between rival gangs on the Cape Flats.

The Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services has now banned ambulances from entering Hanover Park unless they are escorted by police.

Spokesman Robert Daniels says the rescue workers were in Galway Court yesterday around 8am to certify the death of a person when two rival gangs opened fire.

Several bullets hit the ambulance, but staff were not injured.

It is unclear whether the workers were inside the ambulance at the time.

Law enforcement and Metro Police officers were called to the area soon after the shooting.

Daniels says the area has been identified as a hot spot by paramedics, who have been coming under attack from criminals this year.

“The EMS crew was caught in the crossfire between two rival gangs and damage was sustained to the EMS Ambulance. The EMS crew was fortunately not injured and received trauma counselling,” he says.

“Hanover Park has been identified as a red danger zone for EMS personnel and no EMS medical resources will be entering the area without a police escort.”

Last month, Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo, warned communities if attacks on paramedics continue they will suspend services to identified hot spots.

Paramedics from the provincial and private sectors have been holding several protest rallies to raise awareness about their plight.

Officials say 42 incidents have been recorded since January which included assault, robbery, theft, vandalism and hijacking.

Nyanga, Hanover Park, Crossroads, Manenberg, Bonteheuwel, Delft and Elsies River have been identified as hot spots.

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