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Paramedic traumatised but unhurt after being shot in Cape Town

A paramedic escaped death twice after being hit by a bullet and stabbed in the back.
A paramedic escaped death twice after being hit by a bullet and stabbed in the back.
Image: 123RF/ Pumidol Leelerdsakulvong

A paramedic has escaped death twice thanks to wearing a bulletproof vest when he was first stabbed in the back and later hit by a stray bullet while treating patients in the Western Cape.

During the latest attack, the paramedic had been dispatched with a colleague to help a patient at 3.30am on Tuesday at Beacon Valley in Mitchells Plain.

“As they stopped at the patient’s home, a suspect ran towards the ambulance and a stray bullet hit one of the paramedics in his chest. Fortunately, he was wearing a bulletproof vest which saved his life,” said EMS spokesperson Deanna Bessick. “There were no injuries besides the bruising that was left behind in the area where the bullet hit.”

She said the same paramedic was previously stabbed in the back with a knife while working in the same area.

“He was wearing his bulletproof vest at that time as well. He is one of the members of the Tafelsig project, consisting of a dedicated vehicle and crew, that was implemented more than a year ago.

“The objective of the project is to service the Beacon Valley and Tafelsig community with an improved service delivery system, with the buy-in from the community,” said Bessick.

She said the paramedic was “severely” traumatised after his narrow escape on Tuesday and had been for counselling.

Paramedics were also targeted in two separate incidents at the weekend in Philippi, the first being on Friday night.

“As the officials drove towards the location, individuals tried to flag them down, they then advised them that they had to proceed to get to the patient. The EMS officials were unable to find a patient in the road with the injury that was logged,” Bessick said.

“As they continued driving they heard two gunshots, followed by two suspects approaching the vehicle. One of the suspects stood in front of the vehicle with a gun. The driver managed to quickly drive away from the scene and headed back to the base. Fortunately there were no injuries but the officials received counselling and will receive ongoing support.”

On Sunday morning, while getting directions to a patient, the driver of an EMS crew had his phone snatched from his hand and stolen.


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