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‘Paramedics carrying guns on duty to protect themselves sends wrong message’

Earlier this month, the South African Emergency Personnel Union called on members to carry firearms to protect themselves.

FILE: An EMS paramedic responds to a call. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG – The Department of Health’s national director for emergency services and disaster management says the move for paramedics to arm themselves while on duty will send the wrong message.

Raveen Naidoo says government is working towards solving the problem.

Earlier this month, the South African Emergency Personnel Union called on members to carry firearms to protect themselves.

Attacks on paramedics and patients have escalated with most officials being robbed of their belongings and equipment.

Naidoo says communities can also help fight crime against paramedics.

“They are a number of interventions that we put together, all the way from the national level, provincial level and even at local government. It is a symptom of a broader socioeconomic issue.”

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