Tshwane Emergency Services armoured ambulance proves to be a valuable asset amid public disorder
The City of Tshwane’s Emergency Services Department (ESD) deployed its armoured ambulance to Alexandra recently to assist the Gauteng Provincial Emergency Services during the public disorder and unrest. The assistance of Tshwane ESD was requested on 11 July 2021 to boost the provincial efforts which were hampered by capacity constraints. The City’s Emergency Medical Operations Division obtained authorisation to assist outside the municipal jurisdiction and dispatched the armoured ambulance. The ambulance was crewed with two advanced life support and two basic life support practitioners. The ordinary patient capability of the armoured ambulance is four stretcher patients (four priority one patients). All crewmembers were provided with ballistic vest protection and COVID-19 PPE in addition to routine PPE.
The ambulance deployed into Alexandra with SAPS escort to service the reported outstanding emergency calls. The ESD emergency medical services attended to two emergency medical incidents, one of which was a suspected COVID-19 related death. At this point, Alexandra was declared as a no-go area and no ordinary ambulances were able to respond and deploy in the area.
A large proportion of the outstanding calls were cancelled, or patients were transported in private vehicles, including the injured police officer and fire fighter because of the delays in getting medical assistance (with a SAPS escort) into the area.
The armoured ambulance remained on standby at the Sandton Fire Station until 17h30 on 11 July 2021 and then returned to base in Pretoria.
Ald Karen Meyer, MMC for Community Safety said, “The City of Tshwane’s foresight in procuring the armoured ambulance was again proven during this incident, as it is increasingly vital that the use of an armoured ambulance and ballistic protection for emergency services practitioners is imperative during public disorder and unrest situations. The City remains the only municipality in the country with such equipment. The incident also illustrates the importance of cooperative governance in addressing challenges across the province and even beyond the border of the City.”
“The City’s own emergency medical services personnel and equipment have repeatedly proven invaluable in responding to emergency situations”, said Ald Meyer.
We wish to reiterate that the City of Tshwane and all its law enforcement and emergency and disaster management personnel and equipment are committed and available to support the national and provincial efforts to restore peace, order and stability.
We emphatically say no to looting and violence and appreciate the efforts of our law enforcement and emergency and disaster management personnel, as well as the various community stakeholders, who continue to play their part in ensuring our communities and residents are safe.
Source: Charles Mabaso, deputy chief: public information and liaison officer, City of Tshwane Emergency Services