Misfortune struck Martin Jeffrey, ILS paramedic for Emer-G-Med, last week. He was robbed of a cellphone while attending to a patient. The patient was being treated in the ambulance which was, according to him, parked right in front of the police station.
“It makes me mad that we are there helping members of the public and delivering a service and our cellphone and personal belongings are not even safe in the vehicle.”
Jeffrey said it was a member of the community who alerted them that the cellphone had been stolen. “He told us that he had caught the whole thing on video,” Jeffrey said.
According to him, he then proceeded to the police station to lay a charge and told them that a member of the community had caught it all on video.
“But when we went back to the guy who took the video footage he told us that he had deleted it for fear of the public knowing that he had the video and was going to blow the whistle,” Jeffrey said.
The very next day the police phoned him and said that they had recovered the phone, although it was missing its SIM card, memory card, screen protector and cellphone cover.
“It is very frustrating because we can’t keep locking the vehicle,” Jeffrey said.
“You move between the ambulance and the patient. It’s really almost impossible to secure the vehicle 100 per cent besides turning off the ignition and locking the doors, but then we are faced with another problem of visibility and safety.”
John Meintjies, chairman of Nelspruit Concerned Citizens, gave the following advice for people to keep their valuables safe
• If you are conscious at an accident scene, make contact with your friends and family as soon as possible and hand over all your valuables to them.
• Do not leave valuables in places where they are visible for criminals, for instance on your car seat.
• Push your valuables into your pockets and try to keep them close.