JOHANNESBURG – The South African Emergency Personnel Union has criticized the City of Joburg for withdrawing its ambulance services to Cosmo City, saying it should instead find other solutions to ensure paramedics are safe.
The safety of emergency staff is back in the spotlight after three EMS members were attacked and an ambulance vehicle damaged while attending to a call at the weekend.
More than a week ago in KwaZulu-Natal, two paramedics were shot in Durban.
The union’s Mpho Mpogeng has called on the city to act swiftly to step up the safety of staff on duty.
“I believe some of the avenues were not exhausted, but it’s unfortunate because all along when we engaged them, they claimed that they had a tangible plan. They don’t care about the attacks on our members, they care mostly about their assets.”
At the same time, Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba said it was unfortunate that the union was unhappy by the move to suspend its services while an investigation into the attack unfolded.
“We’re obviously concerned because as the city we have got a responsibility because if someone loses their life without us looking at ways on how we can protect them, he would be asking me now why did we let the situation continue before looking at the options.”