Emergency medical staff protest attacks on Cape Flats

Hundreds of emergency medical services staff from across the Western Cape, including firefighters and police, marched in Philippi today.

There have been 80 attacks on emergency vehicles this year alone, and staff feel vulnerable and afraid.

EWN reporter Monique Mortlock spoke to CapeTalk's John Maytham about the march.

She says Nyanga and Philippi SAPS cluster commander Brigadier Vuyisile Ncata addressed the community explaining Saps services were limited, and police escorts were not always possible.

It is not safe for EMS teams to drive into what have been termed 'red zone' areas like Philippi, as well as Hanover Park, Khayelitsha and parts of Mitchells Plain.

Patients in need of help have sometimes been left waiting because of the dangers facing EMS staff.

Western Cape Health MEC Nomafrench Mbombo was at the protest today, and called on communities to help protect paramedics.

Mortlock says community safety and neighbourhood watch groups have vowed to help support and protect the EMS vehicles and staff. They have encouraged other groups to do the same across the Western Cape.

Mortlock says the vehicles often are attacked as they are leaving a scene, and the equipment and drugs are a target for criminals.

Listen to the full interview below:

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