Emergency Personnel taught Self-Defence

Emergency personnel at work. Photos: ER24

Emergency personnel at work. Photos: ER24

Robbed, stabbed, hijacked and left traumatised… The dangers which South Africa’s emergency personnel face have escalated to the point that they are being taught how to defend themselves and their patients.

According to ER24 spokesperson Chitra Bodasing Harduth, ER24 personnel were involved in 15 incidents over the past two years. In some incidents personnel “sustained serious injuries.” In response to this ER24 has developed the ‘Emergency Medical support in Hostile Environments’-course which teaches emergency personnel how to identify hostile environments, how to deal with these situations and how to defend themselves and their patients, should the need arise.

angels-of-mercy-1It smacks of the bizarre
Some of the attacks on emergency personnel have had an element of the bizarre. In some cases personnel were attacked by people posing as patients; in other cases ambulances were robbed while patients were being treated.

It can back-fire
Harduth warns that vandalising or stealing emergency vehicles means fewer vehicles are available in emergencies. This ultimately increases the risk to patients. Attacking emergency personnel endangers both the crews and the people who are in need of medical attention.



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