An ambulance assistant was left temporarily blinded after he was sprayed with a liquid during an ambulance robbery in Ntuzuma E section, north of Durban, in the early hours of Monday.
Netcare 911 managing director Craig Grindell confirmed the incident took place while paramedics were attending to a patient.
“As Netcare 911 emergency medical services practitioners were loading the patient into the ambulance, they were approached by two people who demanded they hand over their possessions, and then fled the scene,” Grindell said.
Grindell said the two knife-wielding men sprayed a substance, believed to be petrol or brake fluid, into the eyes of one of the paramedics before they fled.
“Another Netcare 911 response vehicle rushed to the scene, and both the patient and the ambulance crew members were transported to the hospital for further treatment,” said Grindell.
“Fortunately, the ambulance emergency assistant’s eyesight has now been restored. Counselling is being offered to the patient and our staff members following the crime, which has been reported to the police,” he said.
Grindell expressed his disappointment about the situation.
“It is disappointing that emergency medical services are targeted while providing communities with life-saving emergency medical services. However, thankfully in this case, no serious injuries were sustained,” he said.