New safety initiative for CT paramedics

Cape Town paramedics and neighbourhood watch members who will be part of a pilot project pose with Community Safety MEC Dan Plato and Health MEC Theuns Botha on 21 August 2012. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Paramedics entering high-risk areas in the Mother City will no longer be looking over their shoulders. 

The Western Cape government has launched a pilot project which will see emergency management services (EMS) staff being escorted by neighbourhood watches.

The project will form part of a joint venture between the Community Safety Department and Western Cape Health Department.

Paramedic Atha Ntolosi said he is blessed to have a job which allows him to save people on a daily basis.
But the medic concedes there are huge challenges. 

Although he has never been assaulted while on the job, he said EMS staff were targeted by opportunists in dimly lit areas.

Community Safety MEC Dan Plato said if the project is successful, it will be rolled out in other parts of the city.