Italian mafia orders ambulance drivers to stop using sirens because they disturb drug dealers. Ambulance drivers in Naples have reportedly been ordered by the Italian mafia to stop using their sirens and flashing lights to disturb drug dealers who mistake them for police.
Two gang members stopped the ambulance over the weekend and threatened to kill the driver for putting the siren on while travelling to the southern city for an emergency.
It’s because drug dealers do not like blaring sirens and ambulance lights because they can disturb drug-pushers who mistake them for police cars arriving, disrupting their company, and chasing away their customers.
In Naples, ambulance drivers are now seeking police protection from being threatened by the local mafia.
One medical worker was driving an ambulance with his siren on while travelling to an emergency in the Spanish quarter of the city when the vehicle was flanked by two men riding a large motorbike, The Times reported.
They reportedly threatened to kill the driver by banging on the ambulance window.
Haven’t you understood you cannot use your siren here? Turn it off or we’ll shoot you,’ one of the men warned.
The terrified medic had to call the police after the incident to escort him safely out of the neighborhood.
Similar incidents in neighborhoods across Naples were also confirmed by Manuel Ruggiero, a 42-year-old emergency doctor and local head of Nessuno Tocchi Ippocrate, a group fighting violence against medical workers.
He told The Times: ‘We have already been ordered not to use sirens in other neighbourhoods, including Sanità and Traiano, where the locally based ambulance turns on its siren only after it leaves the area.’
He also said that after arriving on the scene too late to save them, the ambulance crews were assaulted by relatives of patients.
‘The same ambulance involved in Saturday’s incident was kicked, and the crew pushed when they were not in time to save a patient from cardiac arrest,’ the doctor added.