The safety of paramedics has once again been thrust into the spotlight after an ambulance was hijacked on Monday, 3 July 2023, following its response to a collision.
Midlands EMS provided details of the incident, which unfolded on Monday morning when their crews were dispatched to the N3 in Lions River to attend to a motor vehicle collision.
Upon arrival at the scene, the Midlands EMS crews discovered two individuals who had been involved in the collision.
Both occupants were assessed and found to have sustained no injuries. However, shortly after the patients had been evaluated, one of the occupants abruptly jumped into the Midlands EMS ambulance.
“When confronted by the crews, he pulled out a firearm, pointing it at the crew who turned and dropped to the ground. The occupant then sped off Northbound towards Nottingham Road,” recounted Midlands EMS.
A pursuit ensued, involving an additional vehicle from Midlands EMS, breakdowns, as well as RTI Mpofana Traffic and SAPS. During the high speed chase, the suspect collided with multiple vehicles in an attempt to elude capture.
“He eventually came to a stop about 2km past the Estcourt Ultra City after crashing the ambulance. The suspect was arrested on scene by RTI members from Estcourt who had been chasing him,” informed Midlands EMS.
The suspect was subsequently handed over to SAPS along with the firearm and ammunition. “He has been detained at Estcourt SAPS and investigations will continue. Fortunately, our crews were unharmed, but are shaken,” assured Midlands EMS.
While the apprehension of the individual provides some relief, Midlands EMS lamented the loss of their ambulance, which will be retired. This loss is particularly significant as the vehicle was one of the few ICU Ambulances in KwaZulu-Natal.
Following the distressing incident, we invite you to share your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.