• An early decision and request is ideal.
  • Quickly assess the condition of your patient.
  • Assess the time it would take to transport them by road.
  • If you feel that an aircraft is required or you are not sure then:
    Contact the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service on 0861 267 267

Please provide the following details to the dispatcher:

  • Your name and contact number.
  • Details of the patient’s condition, major injuries and vital signs.
  • Confirmation of patient’s medical cover, where applicable. Any medical cover found, even after your initial call should be phoned through as soon as possible.
  • Details of patient’s location, e.g. Ward, Hospital, GPS co-ordinates – if possible, landmarks, dangers around the helicopter loading zone when applicable, etc.
  • Our aim is to be airborne within 5 minutes of call-out.


  • A Airway: Patent; C-Spine immobilization; Intercostal Drain for suspected
  • Haemo-/ Pneumo-Thorax; Naso-gastric tube; C-Spine and Chest X-ray where possible.
  • B Oxygenation: 40% Oxygen Facemask / Ventilated – “Resusbag ” with reservoir.
  • C Circulation: Haemorrhage control; Urine catheter.
  • D Drips: At least one large bore and patent.
  • D Drugs: Have Special drugs been administered or are they Required.
  • D Dressings: All wounds to be dressed with clean dressings where possible.
  • E Evacuation: Call as early as possible; Furnish as much information regarding patient Diagnosis & Condition; Inter-Facility Transfer and Medical cover information where applicable; Passengers accompanying patients will only be accommodated with prior arrangement.
  • F Fractures: Splint all – ‘Backslab’ / Kramer Wire splint; Bi-valve POP casts.


  1. Park the police, fire or ambulance vehicle directly under any power lines or cables that may cross the roadway near the landing zone.
  2. Stand with your back to the wind 10 metres from where you want the helicopter to land.
  3. Secure the landing zone (approx. 30 m X 30 m) against all loose or light debris.
  4. Allow no persons but dedicated rescue personnel within 50 metres of the helicopter.
  5. Ensure the landing zone is as level as possible. If not, DO NOT approach the helicopter from the uphill side. Communicate with the helicopter via radio if possible. Do not approach the helicopter unless the flight crew requests you to do so.
  6. Do not activate smoke grenade in centre or upwind of loading zone.
  7. Control the crowd and bystanders.


  1. Always wait for the pilot’s signal before approaching the aircraft.
  2. Approach/depart the helicopter from the Green Area ONLY.
  3. Keep low and walk to and from the helicopter – NEVER RUN.
  4. At the helicopter, LISTEN for and obey the crewmembers’ instructions.
  5. All loose items on the stretcher must be SECURED. Carry all long items HORIZONTALLY only.
  6. NEVER approach / depart or step in the Red Area.
  7. HATS/CAPS and HELMETS should be strapped onto your head or not worn at all.
  8. Do not bring vehicles within 30 metres of the helicopter.
  9. DO NOT SMOKE around the helicopter.
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