Just before 01h00 this morning, 18 July , a Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Service paramedic crew was ambushed, assaulted and robbed in the Happy Valley informal settlement in Blackheath. Four men carrying knives and broken bottles forced their way into an EMS ambulance as the crew was busy loading a patient.
The attackers demanded the crew’s personal valuables including wallets, mobile phones and handbags after which they stabbed the female paramedic with a broken bottle. The other paramedic was threatened with a knife, but fortunately not harmed. Further to this the attackers damaged the EMS Ambulance by ripping the mobile data terminal from the vehicles’ dashboard, effectively rendering the vehicle out of service for several weeks.
The crew received medical attention and were offered trauma counseling after the attack. Fortunately they were not seriously injured, but they are currently off-duty and the area is an emergency medical resource poorer. This attack will not diminish our commitment to continue providing emergency medical care, but the public should note that the safety of our emergency care workers throughout the department is our first priority.
An attack on an EMS ambulance and crew, is an attack on your own community.