New ‘Netcare 1’ helicopter strengthens Netcare 911’s aero-medical service

A significant development in air ambulance capability in South Africa

Tuesday, April 7 2015

Netcare 911 recently added to its considerable presence in the emergency medical services (EMS) industry with the deployment of a new purpose-built helicopter air ambulance. The helicopter, a Bell 222 UT, which is permanently configured as a mobile intensive care unit, represents a significant step forward for helicopter emergency medical services (HEMS) in South Africa.

According to Craig Grindell, chief operating officer of Netcare 911, the aircraft forms an integral part of Netcare 911’s vision of delivering excellent care to the people of South Africa. “It helps us reach more South Africans in their time of need, demonstrating our total commitment to patient care,” he adds.

The operational capabilities of the Netcare 911 helicopter, which has the call sign ‘Netcare 1’, are impressive. It has an effective range of 550 km from its operating base at Rand Airport in Germiston, Johannesburg, a cruising speed of 130 knots, and the latest in diagnostic, ventilation and monitoring equipment. Manned by a dedicated team of experienced pilots and emergency care practitioners, Netcare 911 is able to rapidly deliver the highest level of emergency care to patients at the scene of an emergency. The helicopter is also used for intensive care transfers between hospitals throughout Gauteng and surrounding provinces.

“Helicopter medical evacuation services are crucial in serving patients in both metropolitan and outlying areas. In cities, for example, traffic is often gridlocked and a well-equipped helicopter can reach a critically injured patient much sooner than a response car or an ambulance to commence life-saving treatment. Once patients are stabilised the helicopter can fly them to the most appropriate hospital very quickly for further specialised care,” observes Grindell.

“Netcare 911 operates the only 24-hour HEMS within Gauteng. The new service forms part of an agreement with Henley Air, which provides Netcare 911 with aircraft and pilot services. Henley Air, with their 30 years of experience in the aviation industry, is the perfect partner for Netcare 911,” adds Grindell.

The new helicopter, which became operational early in March, had undertaken no fewer than 51 missions by the end of the month, covering areas as far afield as Thabazimbi in North West Province and Mokopane in Limpopo Province. The activation of the aircraft is governed by internationally approved medical call-out protocols.

 “Netcare 911 has an outstanding track record in providing aero-medical services to patients in South Africa and we are passionate about quality care and professional excellence. This is exemplified by the latest development in our long history of pioneering advances and initiatives in the EMS industry,” concludes Grindell.

Issued by:    Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911
Contact    :    Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, or Sarah Wilson
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
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