Pagad’s G-Force splinter group has offered to keep paramedics safe from evil skelms.
Rescue workers have become targets of ruthless criminals in the past few months, as they attend to the sick and injured.
The paramedics are stabbed or assaulted, and their equipment stolen and vehicles hijacked.
On average, 70 cases are reported annually, says the province’s Emergency Medical and Forensic Pathology Services (EMS) spokesman, Robert Daniels.
In the latest incident on Monday, EMS paramedics attending to an incident in Happy Valley informal settlement, Black Heath, were ambushed, robbed and assaulted by four men.
Authorities have called on mense to piemp skelms and protect medics, and the People Against Gangsterism and Drugs G-Force has responded.
The crimefighting organisation told Daily Voice they couldn’t stand by idly while medics were being attacked.
“Our teams are ready to escort any emergency vehicle into areas where they feel uneasy to enter,” reads their statement.
“Our teams will stay with the emergency vehicle until they are safely out of the areas of danger.
“We feel that something has to be done to give our paramedics some peace of mind while doing one of the most important services to our people, until such time the authorities institute mechanisms to protect paramedics in volatile areas.”
While Daniels wouldn’t openly endorse Pagad’s offer, he did urge communites to help keep medical rescue staff safe.
“Due to the nature of EMS work, staff members are directly exposed and we have made several efforts and tried various approaches to enable a safe working environment in which they can render quality emergency health care to the public. This includes SAPS providing an escort to our staff when entering high-risk areas.
“We respond to 713 144 calls per year and over the previous 12-month period. During this period approximately 70 criminal cases were reported which includes robbery, theft, damage to property, assault, hijacking.
“Communities are urged to assist our staff and safeguard them from criminal elements so that we can continue being available when they need us.”
Pagad spokesman Orrie adds: “Pagad has always stood for the safety of the people.
“Protecting the innocent is what we have always done and will continue to do.”