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EMS report shows paramedics had their hands full over the long weekend

Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services responds to 6 098 incidents during the long weekend. Picture: Supplied .

Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services responds to 6 098 incidents during the long weekend. Picture: Supplied .

Published Sep 29, 2021


Cape Town - While the Heritage Day long weekend seemed to give a taste of post lockdown feels, the aftermath showed that the Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to 6 098 incidents.

The EMS report showed there had been 2 841 incidents in the City of Cape Town District Municipality, 1 043 incidents in the Cape Winelands District Municipality, 948 incidents in the Eden District Municipality, 651 incidents in the West Coast District Municipality, 483 in Overberg District Municipality, and 132 incidents in the Central Karoo District Municipality.

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Western Cape EMS spokesperson Deanna February said that the top 10 emergency cases ranged from non-cardiac pain to domestic injury.

“The top ten incidents types included non-cardiac pain (955); weapon assault (895); respiratory complaints (581); obstetric complaints (387); neurological complaints (327); musculo-skeletal complaints (274); abdominal complaints (266); vomiting/diarrhea (210); physical assault (209) and accidental domestic injury (179).

“Additionally, there were 138 incidents in red zone areas, two search and rescue incidents and 192 transport-related incidents. One of the transport-related incidents involved two light motor vehicles and nine patients. The motor vehicle accident occurred on Stellenbosch Arterial and Symphony roads in Delft on Saturday. Unfortunately, two patients passed away and the rest of the survivors were transported to Delft CHC and Tygerberg Hospital.

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“Ambulance crews also faced challenges of entering these red zone areas such as Hanover Park, Beacon Valley and Mitchells Plain. Ambulance crews were not allowed in these areas without a South African Police Service escort.

“I think it is important to remember that we all have an individual responsibility to help make our roads safer. Let’s help to mitigate the risk of road deaths and injuries by working together and showing consideration and respect for our fellow road users.

“If people are planning on travelling, they should always follow the Covid-19 advice for travellers. Individuals should be mindful of driving safety tips (be alert, adhere to speed limits and do not drink and drive), as well as other safety tips i.e. swimming pool, open water and hiking safety tips,” said February.

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Department of Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell said in a statement that the department was doing its utmost best in playing a part to keep the roads safe, however this required team effort from everyone.

“We are playing our part in keeping our roads safe, but we cannot do it alone. I am very disheartened to hear that 37 people died on our roads in the last week, 11 of them pedestrians.

“Western Cape Traffic Law Enforcement made 18 arrests this week for driving under the influence, and four for reckless and negligent driving.

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“For this, I commend the officers involved for their role in keeping the public safe by taking these dangerous drivers off the road. We will continue to make our roads safer, whether from drunk drivers, reckless drivers or those transporting prohibited freight. This is further proof that we will continue to make our roads safer by taking illegal freight, reckless and drunk drivers off our roads.

“I’d also like to commend those who drove responsibly and considerately this week. I think officers of Provincial Traffic Law Enforcement who provided a 24/7 service to keep others safe also deserve to be acknowledged, and I’d also thank every other agency that played its part including, but not limited to, the South African Police Service, municipal traffic services and emergency personnel,” said Mitchell.

Weekend Argus