In the last three months, St John Ambulance has responded to over 670 emergencies within the Moresby North West electorate. Over 500 of these incidents have occurred in Morata.
Despite the work it does in responding to emergencies in communities, one of its crew was attacked on Tuesday morning, May 7th, at Morata Two, where officers were robbed, assaulted and later dragged out of the bus by a group of heavily intoxicated men.
This resulted in St John’s suspending its services to the area. Assistant Commissioner Rigona Rita explained that the area of Morata Two remains an unacceptable security risk to their ambulance crews at night.
However on the direction of St John National Council and in the interest of the community, ambulance crews will be instructed to wait for a police or security escort before entering the suburb between 5pm and 7am.
Full services will be restored once there is confidence that the ambulance officers and paramedics are safe to go into Morata without fear of attack.
Black Swan will provide a tactical response unit to escort the St John Ambulance in the event that police are not available, and the situation is life-threatening for a sick child or a mother in labour.
The Morata Two community leaders expressed their deepest regret, saying it is no way a reflection of the community and vowed to continue working with police as investigations continue.