Comprehensive aero-medical service for more than 50 years

Operating since 1966, The SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service Trust (AMS) has grown into a comprehensive aero-medical service with a unique service delivery model, utilising volunteers, professionals, strong partnerships with the Departments of Health, not-for-profit organisations and the private sector to facilitate access to appropriate healthcare services for both the critically ill or injured persons and those requiring specialist medical expertise, especially from remote rural communities. The AMS is the only aero-medical operator in Southern Africa which offers a complete package of air-ambulance, health outreach and rescue services, using a mix of fixed-wing and rotor-wing aircraft and ground vehicles.

We work closely with Provincial Departments of Health and healthcare workers in communities to assess healthcare needs in target hospitals and peripheral communities to facilitate the implementation of appropriate healthcare programmes. The AMS is committed to saving lives and changing lives.

The AMS was established in 1966 by The South African Red Cross Society and formed into an independent Trust in 1994. The AMS is a non-profit organisation with active operational bases in the Western Cape (Cape Town & Oudtshoorn), KwaZulu-Natal (Durban) and supportive infrastructure in the Northern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga Provinces that provides an air ambulance network, outreach and emergency rescue services. It is the mission of the AMS to support state-run programmes, the AMS will innovatively render rural outreach programmes, clinical training and development for stakeholders and emergency aero-medical/rescue services.

We are available 24hours a day, 7days a week, 365 days of the year

Our National Operations Centre (NOC) operates 24 hours a day, 7days a week and 365 days of the year and is staffed by a dedicated team of Co-Ordinators who monitor operations countrywide. This allows AMS to streamline the deployment of available resources to attend to air ambulance and rescue mission requests. This enables the AMS to maintain the high quality of service offered to our clients and the South African community as a whole.

The NOC provides a single point access to aero-medical services nationally and ensures the delivery of appropriate resources to any person who may require specialised air ambulance and rescue assistance. The NOC also co-ordinates all the logistics in both the medical, rescue and aviation aspects of the service.

The AMS is operated as an entirely separate entity subscribing to the principles and objectives of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. The focus is on creating effective, efficient and sustainable aero-medical and ground resources in support of health systems.


In 1966, with loads of enthusiasm and a Cessna 205 single engine “six seater” aircraft, the first and only voluntarily […]

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