Aero-Medical Rescue Training Week

To kick start the Air Mercy Service’s (AMS) celebration of 45 years of service delivery this year, The AMS and the Western Cape METRO Emergency Medical Services (EMS) is proud to present a Rescue Training Week taking place from the 11th of April to the 15th of April 2011. The objective of this training week is to expand the operational envelope of the METRO/AMS Rescue Service; to increase the capabilities and improve the skill levels of the rescue personnel and to raise the overall standard of rescue operations in the Western Cape through benchmarking with internationally best practice organizations.

Participants include local paramedics from METRO and AMS flight crew, as well representatives from Wilderness Search & Rescue (WSAR), the Mountain Club of South Africa (MCSA), High Angle Rescue Team (HART), South African Civil Aviation Authority, South African Police Service (SAPS), South African Air Force (SAAF), EMS Colleges and Universities, Heads of Departments and General Managers from other National Provincial EMS Services.

The week comprised of both a theoretical component and practical aero-medical rescue training exercises, with a presentation by an international guest Oliver Kreuzer from Switzerland. Oliver is an instructor at the Alphin Rescue Centre and a Rescue Paramedic and Hoist Operator for Air Zermatt based in Switzerland. The Alphin Rescue Centre is a mountain search and rescue unit dedicated to saving lives through search and rescue, and mountain safety education based in Switzerland. He also holds an International Certificate of Emergency Mountain Medicine. Oliver will share his knowledge and expertise on the subject throughout the week.

The Rescue Programme in Cape Town has been in existence since 2002 and in the Eden/Central Karoo District for the past three years. We are proud to be associated with the Western Cape METRO Emergency Medical Services in order to bring this critical service to the community of the Western Cape. Most of the practical training sessions will take place on Table Mountain where during the past nine years approximately 400 aero-medical rescues were undertaken.

Ashwin Krishna, National Operations Manager for AMS, said “there is a great need for a rescue service to cover the entire country. Not much is understood about the complexity and commitment involved in the implementation of an aero-medical rescue program. The intention of the AMS is to share knowledge on the options available and the associated costs involved as well as other variables that have an impact on an aero-medical system and to create an opportunity for this kind of program to cover a wider portion of the country to adequately address the aero-medical needs across South Africa”.

This year AMS celebrates 45 years of caring, commitment and saving lives. Since its inception in 1966 the AMS has grown into a remarkable aero-medical organization which strives to contribute to the improvement in the quality of life of all communities, facilitate access to equitable and effective healthcare and the provision of other associated humanitarian services.

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