Paramedics down tools

PARAMEDICS at the Lebowakgomo station in Limpopo have downed tools after complaining about unhealthy working conditions.

This follows allegations that sewerage pipes have burst at the station, leaving faeces scattered all over the premises.

According to a paramedic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the situation at the station was so unbearable that working there was like "working in hell".

"The situation at the Lebowakgomo paramedic station is so bad that our health is compromised," the source said.

He said there were no washing bays at the station and each time they washed blood from ambulances they were exposed to it because there were no drainages to dispose of blood cleaned from patients.

"We wash the ambulances on the pavements, and because there are no drainage systems we end up coming into contact with blood ourselves ... and this is not safe for us," the source continued.

According to another source, four pipes are blocked, making it difficult for water to flow.

"Eating inside the premises during lunch time is a nightmare because one cannot even start eating with faeces all over the place," the source said.

Paramedics said they had engaged management of the EMS about the problem but nothing had been done to rectify it.

At the time of going to print, departmental spokesperson Joe Maila said he was not aware of the problem and that he would dispatch a team of officials to go and investigate.

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