Is this the city we want – when ambulances can enter New Brighton only with a police escort; when EMS vehicles are being attacked with regularity – 20 incidents in 22 months with no arrests?

Ambulances and other emergency service vehicles should be untouchable in any community. No-one knows when they will need the services of our emergency personnel. It may be the very criminal who attacks these vehicles today that needs them tomorrow. Delaying an ambulance can cost a life; attacking an ambulance and its staff can endanger many lives.

The church leaders of Nelson Mandela Bay wish to convey their unwavering support and enduring gratitude to the EMS personnel and their families. You risk your lives on a daily basis for those in need. We pray for your protection and for your strength as you meet the challenges of your work. Thank you – you are our heroes and your service is an example to us all.

We call for those who shelter these criminals to stop doing so. We pray that you may see the consequence of your action. We may not be able to convince those who attack our ambulances to change their ways, but those criminals do not live in isolation; they have friends and they have family. As a community we must stand up and unite against those who know no bounds.

Ambulances and EMS personnel must be allowed to reach those who need their services, without hinder or fear for their own safety. Let them do their jobs. This is our city – enough is enough.

Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Bishop Bethlehem Nopece, Pastor Neville Goldman, Reverend Danie Mouton. Archdeacon Zwelidumile Tom & Pastor Mvusi Gwam

2015/11