Cape Town - A group of Tygerberg EMS officials have embarked on a community engagement initiative in the hope of to gaining allies in their fight against attacks on paramedics.
This as attacks on paramedics in several local communities that form part of the EMS’s northern division have increased.
EMS spokesperson Deanna Bessick said: “The attacks have increased drastically, and it affects the most vulnerable in communities where EMS is most required. Since the national lockdown was instated, we saw an increase in attacks. The impact is that service delivery to vulnerable communities is affected.
“EMS paramedics perform an essential service. We must work together with communities to create a safe and supportive environment for EMS workers to provide, and members of communities to receive, emergency medical services as needed,” said Bessick.
This week, the group launched its initial campaign, sponsoring learners from four different areas within their division with new school uniforms and stationery.
Shift manager Vuyisanani Oyo said while the group had been inspired to act to continue serving Cape communities, working to empower and assist disadvantaged communities was a shared passion among the group.
“We launched this initiative to get closer to the communities we serve. To improve our relationship with these as a means to mitigate attacks on our working staff and vehicles when they go into these communities.
“We understand that there are underlying issues that could be the root cause. However, we believe that these can be remedied and the situation improved, and in the process we will be responding to challenges faced by the communities as best as we can,” said Oyo.
As part of the initiative, four learners from Kraaifontein, Delft, Bellville and Eerste River received new uniforms, shoes and stationery.
One of the recipients, Justin Marang, a learner from Kraaifontein, received his generous donation last night.
His mother, Emmerencia Marang, said: “I’m so grateful to the team that put this together. This means a lot to my family, especially my son, who’s now so excited to go to school.
Before this project, I’d never been a part of something this big. I only read about it in the papers.”