Gunmen attack paramedics in Ocean View

No arrests have been made in connection with the attack.

Paramedics had a close call in Ocean View last week when three gunmen tried to hijack them.

According to the provincial Department of Health, the paramedics, a man and a woman, had just climbed into the ambulance after loading a patient, at 3am, on Friday September 18, when three men approached them and one pulled a gun on the male paramedic in the driver’s seat.

The paramedic had already started the ambulance and was able to pull away quickly and drive to a safe area.

The patient was then taken to False Bay Hospital.

“This was a senseless attack, while the paramedics were rendering a crucial service,” said Deanna Bessick, spokeswoman for the province’s emergency medical services (EMS).

“The incident was reported to SAPS Ocean View and the paramedics received counselling.”

There had been 30 attacks on EMS staff last year compared to 46 so far this year, she said.

Most attacks did not result in serious physical injuries, but they disrupted essential health services, she said.

“The poor response time is most severely felt by the most vulnerable. These attacks leave staff traumatised and fearing for their lives while fulfilling their duties. They go beyond and above the call of duty, by risking their lives daily to save
the lives of the vulnerable people in communities. We are therefore urging the public to protect and support EMS officials and immediately report these incidents to their nearest police station,” she said.

In response to the frequent attacks, the provincial Department of Health is looking at issuing live-streaming body cameras to staff.

These cameras would be monitored from a central location by operators who could dispatch the required support service, as needed.

* Police arrested two men in Ocean View, on Thursday September 17, on charges of unlawful possession of fire-
arms and ammunition, and seized two guns.

According to Sergeant Leon Fortuin, of Ocean View police, Constable Yolisa Mnyakama and Constable Andile Ngxongwana responded to information from an anonymous informant of possible suspects with firearms at Sylvia Court, at 10pm.

When they investigated, they saw men fitting the description of the suspects described by the informant.

The men were searched and a pistol containing seven live rounds of ammunition and a revolver containing four spent cartridges were found in their posses-
sion.

In a separate incident, Constable Musa Sithole and Constable Chanelle Bailey arrested three suspects for unlawful possession of ammunition. They were following up on a shooting incident in Ocean View when they saw three males aged 30, 22 and 20, who had six live rounds of ammunition and one magazine in their possession.

Station commander Lieutenant Colonel Monwabisi Buzwayo said: “The arrests of these suspects follow shortly after another shooting incident close to the flats known as ‘Die Blokke’. We will not stop in our pursuit of making the area safer and removing these firearms from the commu-
nity.”

Contact Ocean View SAPS at 021 783 8300 or Crime Stop at 08600 10111 to report illegal activi-
ties.