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Patient slapped paramedic in the face

A patient from Langa slapped and insulted a paramedic who was trying to assist him on Sunday 05 March in the afternoon. The Emergency Medical Services were called to a house to attend to an emergency.

When they arrived, the patient refused their help and ordered them to leave. The patient ended up slapping the paramedic who was trying to assist him. The Department of Health and Wellness spokesman Byron La Hoe said paramedics are being targeted yet they are there to help people.

Besides the Langa attack, an ambulance crew escaped a robbery at gunpoint on Francie van Zijl Drive towards Elsies River on Saturday 04 March. La Hoe said on Sunday there was a cable theft incident that occurred at the EMS base in Pinelands.

Since the beginning of the year, EMS workers have been attacked 10 times while they are doing their job. La Hoe said though most of these attacks didn’t cause serious physical harm to the workers, they left them traumatised. He said this has a huge impact on the services as the paramedics have to take some time off.

Attacks on paramedics have been ongoing for many years forcing ambulance services to be escorted when entering some high-risk areas regarded as red zones. Over the weekend ambulances were escorted 105 times in areas such as Hanover Park, Beacon Valley, Tafelsig and Chicago.

“The EMS remains appreciative of the SAPS’ and other law enforcement agencies’ ongoing support, as this helps protect our crews and enables them to care for the most vulnerable patients,” said La Hoe.

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