The bloodshed is so intense in areas such as Tafelsig, Beacon Valley and Eastridge that there is a constant demand of around 3000 calls per month from those regions alone. In addition, whole areas have been declared red zones by EMS because ambulance crews have recently been attacked there.
“In areas such as Nyanga, Crossroads, Philippi East, Tafelsig and Beacon Valley the risk factor is a nine or 10 that you will be attacked. Most of our staff have been shot at in Tafelsig,” Van Zyl said. “The last incident was two weeks ago on my shift; they were held at gunpoint.”
In an attempt to protect medics, ambulances can’t enter red zones without a police escort.
“The impact is huge because the knock-on effect is that people wait for hours (for an ambulance).”