City officials address attacks on EMS personnel

Acting EMS Chief Mhlengi Makhubalo (left) accepts the general salute along with other colleagues and the MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun. Photo: Siso Naile.

The opening of the state-of-the-art fire station at Cosmo City on 1 March did not only bring joy to role-players and some community members, but left serious questions about the safety of those employed to serve at the station

The precinct this fire station will serve was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons recently, particularly for the attacks on Joburg Emergency Management Service personnel.

Acting EMS Chief Mhlengi Makhubalo delivers the overview brief. Photo: Siso Naile.

A group of thugs allegedly hijacked an ambulance in Cosmo City while it responded to an emergency in September last year. Early this year, an ambulance was stoned in Zandspruit while attending to a pregnant woman.

This fire station that also has two ambulances was built to improve response time considering the rapid growth of Cosmo City and neighbouring areas. It remains questionable whether the station will improve the services in those areas though.

MMC for Public Safety Michael Sun shown around the pool at the fire station along with delegates and EMS officials. Photo: Siso Naile.

To address this issue, EMS spokesperson Robert Mulaudzi, who has encourages residents on several occasions to report these act of criminality said, “We are looking at working with CPFs that already exist in the communities and making sure that we work with community leaders. We will be conducting our awareness programmes by visiting communities to remind them of the importance of protecting us because if they protect us we will be able to deliver services effectively and quickly,” he explained.

“But if they continue attacking us, these kinds of attacks will create fear and panic among emergency services personnel who are supposed to respond to the call-outs. This would also disrupts service delivery and will mean that every time we have to respond to an emergency, we will go via a police station to get a police escort, which will affect our response times,” he further explained.

The acting EMS Chief Mhlengi Makhubalo added that the MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun should intervene to address the matter as the police need their vehicles for their own purposes. Fortunately, the fire station is situated opposite the Cosmo City Satellite Police Station.

MMC for Public Safety, Michael Sun is shown the new fire engine. Photo: Siso Naile.

In response, Sun said they were alarmed by the attacks, saying, “It started out as theft from ambulances and fire engines, but has escalated to physical assaults where they actually hijack the EMS personnel”.

He added that hot spots have been identified. “Our EMS team has gone out to the hot spots to engage the community leaders to remind them that these equipment, vehicles and staff members from EMS are here to serve and save their lives in an emergency. They need to help us by not only protecting us but also to identify unsavoury elements, so when we are doing our job we are protected by the residents,“ Sun explained.

Do you perhaps have more information pertaining to this story? Email us at  (remember to include your contact details) or phone us on 011 955 1130.

For free daily local news on the West Rand, also visit our sister newspaper websites 

Roodepoort Record

Randfontein Herald

Krugersdorp News 

Get It Joburg West Magazine


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