Medics reach out



October 4, 2016
Medics reach out

EMS Mitchells Plain distributed soup in Tafelsig. CREDIT: Manqoba Nigidi/Daily Voice

Paramedics initiate a mobile soup kitchen to bond with community in an area that's a hotspot for EMS attacks.

These paramedics are bartering soup for their safety.

Last week paramedics from the Mitchells Plain Southern Division made a hundred litre pot of soup to feed arme mense in Moira Street,Tafelsig.

The area is a hotspot for attacks on paramedics, who’ve been stoned, assaulted and robbed by skollies.

The medics want residents to be their ears and eyes in hotspots like Mitchells Plain, Manenberg, Philippi, Hanover Park, Gugulethu and Nyanga.

Last month at a protest rally in Philippi, Western Cape Health MEC, Nomafrench Mbombo warned that if attacks on paramedics continue, they will stop sending help into danger zones.

Authorities said 42 incidents, including vandalism and hijacking, have been reported since January, but J Van Zyl, District Manager of the Mitchells Plain Southern Division, says the number is actually double.

“We have had 85 attacks on ambulance staff since January in the Western Cape,” he says.

“In Tafelsig, we have had incidents where staff were stabbed and bricks also thrown at them.

“Since the attacks, our staff has been reluctant to go into (affected) areas, that’s why we need the community to keep staff safe.

“We are saving lives, we don’t expect to be shot. We are bringing soup here today to build a relationship with the community.”

Paramedics reached out to the Tafelsig community in hopes of building a lasting relationship that’s beneficial to both parties. CREDIT: Manqoba Ngidi/Daily Voice

Paramedic Chantal Abrahams says they place their lives on the line daily to help people.

“The patient comes first. I hope people can see what we are doing as we are giving ourselves unselfishly to them.”

Resident Shamiema Martin, 28, has appealed to people to help keep paramedics safe.

“The ambulance teams are always being robbed and it’s for us to help and keep them safe,” she says.

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