Monday, 03 December 2018

Ambulance attacks under spotlight

SEEKING SOLUTIONS: The EMS Safety Symposium will bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders. SEEKING SOLUTIONS: The EMS Safety Symposium will bring together a broad spectrum of stakeholders.

Attacks on ambulances and emergency medical service personnel will come under the spotlight during the Emergency Medical Services Safety Symposium at CPUT’s Bellville Campus on Wednesday.

A growing number of attacks has been reported in several parts of the country over the past few years with devastating consequences not only for the crews but the affected communities as well.

“These attacks have become a national problem. What we have been noticing is that there have been individual efforts to try and address this, either from the public or the private sector. What has been missing are the voices of the other stakeholders. The impact is that services are withdrawn, and the communities suffer,” said Lloyd Christopher, Acting Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences and the symposium chairman.

“The symposium brings together representatives from across the country, including the provincial and national departments of health, private EMS, academia, civil society – a broad spectrum of people that are affected by these ambulance attacks. It’s important for us to follow a holistic approach and to get a diverse view of how these ambulance attacks affect the communities in order to understand why these attacks are happening.”

The event will be attended by Dr Mathume Phaahla, the Deputy Minister of Health.

It will centre around four themes: The status quo – experiences and current professional responses, Building EMS resilience in a violent societal context, Criminal Justice and legal framework to strengthen EMS systems and Strategic partnership towards sustainable solutions.

“We’d like to end the symposium with a position statement. A rescuer can’t be a victim and a rescuer. We are finding that the ambulance personnel are becoming the victims and that can’t be the case. We would like to have a national position statement from all the stakeholders that will set the agenda for future research to better understand the problem and then to work on common solutions.”

The event has been registered with CPUT Community Engagement and is led by the Department of Emergency Medical Sciences.

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Health and Wellness Sciences and Informatics and Design Faculties.