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Clearing the air on the N12

The other side of the story after outcry from the community about private ambulance services.

There has been outcry and controversy on social media regarding the ethics of private ambulance services after an accident on the N12 on Tuesday, May 21, where the driver of a bakkie involved in the accident passed away on the road due to government ambulance services not being timeously available and certain private ambulance services being unwilling to assist due to lack of medical aid.

Langamed Emergency Management, that was the only private ambulance service that responded to the scene of the accident, has received backlash for the death of the driver of the bakkie. The anger from the community has been misconstrued. Langamed assisted three critical passengers from the Volkswagen Citi Golf that was also involved in the accident, and none of the three critical patients they assisted had medical aid.

Langamed attended to the three critical patients on the scene and transported them to Witbank General Hospital at their own cost. Assisting patients at scenes of accidents or that are critical, is a difficult call for private ambulance services to make, and is a complete catch twenty-two.

Private ambulance services have overheads, salaries, running costs, training, materials, fuel, and many other hidden costs that have to be covered, as essentially, yes, they are a business. The real question is why government ambulance services are in such a poor state – an entirely different can of worms.

WITBANK NEWS has reached out to government emergency services and an article regarding the challenges they face and what the main issues and concerns are as to why the services are failing will be published as soon as investigations are complete.

Being an emergency responder in any shape or form is truly a calling, and not for the faint of heart. Not one single emergency responder would willingly and knowingly allow someone to die, and unfortunately, the challenges that are faced by the institutions they work for are often directed at the responders attending on scene.

“The hardest thing in our profession is to have to make the tough calls on who we can save and who we can’t. The wish of every paramedic and emergency services staff member is to save everyone, but sometimes that is just not possible, and it affects us very deeply. It is not always easy to have to make peace that we cannot save everyone but we do the best we can in situations under pressure,” said Dino Padayachee, owner of Langamed.

As a community, understanding and kindness towards emergency responders would go a long way. Often these heroes are exhausted and dealing with trauma regular citizens cannot even imagine.

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