The Primrose Fire station in the City of Ekurhuleni was once again attacked, equipment wrecked, and two ambulances taken out of commission on Sunday morning (March 1) by members of the public.
It is reported that the perpetrators are community members from nearby Makausi Informal Settlement.
As per information from the security guard who was on duty through Saturday night to Sunday morning, Firefighters and ambulance crews were in attendance of a Pedestrian vehicle accident and left the security guard in the station.
Members of the community banged the windows demanding the security guard to open the doors. The aggression of the group forced the security guard to open the Machine bay doors to give them attention. According to the report, they came to report a patient who was allegedly dead in one of the shacks.
On hearing that all the crews were assigned with different calls and no one to assist at the time, they started breaking other vehicles in the station. One fire engine Mirrors were broken, two ambulances parked in the station were also damaged. All their eight wheels were stubbed with a sharp object and left out of commission.
A male guard desperately tried to halt the group but failed. He was also intensively threatened and had no option but to run for his life.
When firefighters and ambulances returned from their respective calls, they found that the station has been turned upside down.
The incident follows the trail of attacks that took place in the station. The incident puts uncertainties and fear to the entire work force of the station.
“As the Disaster and Emergency Management Services (DEMS), we would like to condemn the action to the fullest possible way because the very same damaged resources, are the once used to serve the same community. We can not allow such activities to go unpunished. Law Enforcement unit have been involved in this regard. We plead with good law-abiding community members to work together with the police to bring those involved to book,” said DEMS spokesperson William Ntladi.
“Why must Paramedics and Firefighters fear to save lives?” Unfortunately, duties and expectations of firefighting dictate differently in terms of safety measures. Firefighters and paramedics cannot be armed to perform their life saving duties,” said Ntladi.