Durban - A DURBAN paramedic is in a stable condition in hospital, after being shot while waiting to fetch a patient in uMlazi.
The identity of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedic has not yet been revealed. News of the incident began circulating on social media yesterday, seven days after the incident occurred.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said it is alleged that on March 7, 2021 just after midnight, on Baker Road, a woman was shot and wounded when they were ambushed by unknown suspects, while travelling in an ambulance.
“The injured victim was rushed to hospital for medical attention. A case of attempted murder is being investigated by uMlazi SAPS,” Gwala said.
The Midlands EMS group posted on Facebook that they were deeply saddened by the shooting of fellow colleagues in Durban.
All they heard is that the crews were shot and injured while waiting for a patient. Pictures circulated on social media show a bullet hole in the front windscreen and on the door.
“We would like to send our prayers and thoughts to the members concerned, and pray that justice is served as these horrendous acts are committed while we all try and save lives. May you have a speedy recovery,” the EMS Midlands statement read.
Spokesperson for the Department of Health Ntokozo Maphisa said they were shocked and concerned about the recent attack on emergency services personnel.
Maphisa was concerned that in one area, Lamontville, there have been two recent incidents in which paramedics have been attacked, after responding to calls for help. Maphisa said it was now clear that there is a small group of people who are without a conscience.
He said a few individuals are making it impossible for paramedics to perform their work, which is essential and concerns life and death.
“We have pleaded with communities before to help find ways to protect paramedics, because when they respond to distress calls, they do so in service of the public. However, we have noted improvements in certain areas in this regard. Furthermore, we need to emphasise that such incidents are isolated and do not occur everywhere,” Maphisa said.
“It would be tragic for the situation to get to a point where we, as the department, begin to refuse to render much-needed emergency medical services in certain areas, due to the fact that the safety of our personnel cannot be guaranteed,” Maphisa said.