A Cape Town paramedic has now escaped death twice while on call-out, thanks to wearing a bulletproof vest.
News24 reports that “the shooter did not even worry about the presence of a police escort as he walked up to the paramedic and pulled the trigger. It was the second time he had come under attack after also surviving a stabbing on the job.
Paramedics and firefighters have to be escorted through “red zones” in some parts of Cape Town, which have been declared as highly dangerous for ambulances and firefighters.
According to police spokesperson Colonel Andrè Traut the paramedic was taking a patient to hospital when an unknown man pulled out a firearm from his waist, pointed and fired a shot through the driver’s side window. The driver was hit, but was saved by the bulletproof vest. The shooter ran away and no arrest had yet been made.
In a TimesLIVe report, EMS spokesperson Deanna Bessick said: “There were no injuries besides the bruising that was left behind in the area where the bullet hit.” She said the same paramedic was previously stabbed in the back with a knife while working in the same area.
“He was wearing his bulletproof vest at that time as well. He is one of the members of the Tafelsig project, consisting of a dedicated vehicle and crew, that was implemented more than a year ago.
“The objective of the project is to service the Beacon Valley and Tafelsig community with an improved service delivery system, with the buy-in from the community,” said Bessick.
She said the paramedic was “severely” traumatised after his narrow escape and had been for counselling.
Paramedics were also targeted in two separate incidents at the weekend in Philippi.
“As the officials drove towards the location, individuals tried to flag them down, they then advised them that they had to proceed to get to the patient. The EMS officials were unable to find a patient in the road with the injury that was logged,” Bessick said.
“As they continued driving they heard two gunshots, followed by two suspects approaching the vehicle. One of the suspects stood in front of the vehicle with a gun. The driver managed to quickly drive away from the scene and headed back to the base. Fortunately there were no injuries but the officials received counselling and will receive ongoing support.”
In another incident, while getting directions to a patient, the driver of an EMS crew had his phone snatched from his hand and stolen.
Full News24 report
Full TimesLIVE report