Wed. Jul 17th, 2019

Ambulance attack: Fear mounts over new trend of medic robberies

This growing trend places the lives of those who need this essential service at risk.

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The recent ambulance attack in Dobsonville, Soweto, makes that at least three instances where paramedics responding to distress calls were robbed this week.

Ambulance attack: Latest robbery in Dobsonville, Soweto

As reported by EWN, an ambulance crew that was responding to a distress call, on Wednesday morning, was accosted by armed robbers.

According to Emergency Management Services (EMS) spokesperson, Robert Mulaudzi, the crew, fortunately, survived the ordeal without sustaining any injuries.

It is not clear, at this point, whether the distress call was real or part of the robbers’ ploy to lure their victims.

This, Mulaudzi said, is a growing trend and it is concerning because it makes it extremely difficult for medics to come out and save lives when, in actual fact, they are the targeted prey.

“We urge all our residents throughout the City of Johannesburg to protect Emergency Management Services personnel while they’re rendering this very important essential service. We have seen lately in terms of the number of incidents where personnel were attacked and robbed,” he said.

Is this a growing trend?

Since the turn of the year, there have been many cases where paramedics have been the target of armed robberies. This week alone, there have been at least three reported robberies involving ambulance crews.

In Paarl, Western Cape, a crew of medics were accosted by armed robbers who, to their disappointment, left the scene without anything.

One of them went as far as forcing a medic inside a shopping centre to withdraw cash at an ATM. However, people seeing this taking place scared the suspects away before they could get the medic to withdraw the money.

One of the suspects, in this case, has been placed under arrest and is currently being held in custody with charges related to armed robbery and the possession of an illegal weapon placed against him.

In Durban, paramedics responding to a distress call, on Wednesday, 19 June, were accosted by armed robbers.

It turned out that the call was made by the suspects to lure the ambulance out to their lair.

One of the medics suffered gunshot wounds, while the other sustained injuries on her wrist. However, both crew members survived the ordeal.

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