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WC records 68 attacks on medical emergency officials this year

On Tuesday morning, two paramedics were on a call in Mitchells Plain when they came under attack.

FILE: Most attacks occur in Cape Town. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - There have been 68 attacks on medical emergency officials across the Western Cape this year.

It's a marked increase from last year when 20 incidents were recorded; most attacks occur in Cape Town.

On Tuesday morning, two paramedics were on a call in Mitchells Plain when they came under attack.

Despite being escorted by police to a patient's home in Beacon Valley, the paramedics were still attacked.

A shot was fired at the ambulance, strucking one of the paramedics in the chest.

Luckily for him, he was wearing a bulletproof vest.

It's not the first time the man has had a brush with death, he was stabbed in the back in the same area in a separate attack.

Director of emergency medical services Shaheem de Vries said the department did not issue body armour.

“The paramedics are part of a unit that works closely with SAPS in high-risk areas and so as a consequence of that, they took extra precaution.”

But some staff aren't taking chances with their safety.

De Vries added having paramedics wear bulletproof vests was an ongoing discussion.

“We are in the process of exploring body armour for the paramedics. There are strong arguments for and against this.”

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