Rapid response by paramedics critical in the event of a medical emergency

Netcare 911 there for you in your time of need

Wednesday, August 19 2015

With statistics indicating that a substantial one in three South Africans suffer serious injury every year, it is only too clear that we as a nation depend heavily on our emergency medical services.”

So says Kerry Staples, Netcare 911’s general manager: coastal. He adds that Netcare 911, which operates from their base at Netcare St Anne’s Hospital in Burger Street in Pietermaritzburg, is able to respond to any medical emergency by road or air, and, if necessary, quickly evacuate patients to the most appropriate medical facility.

“Our emergency teams are led by highly trained advance life support paramedics, who are just a phone call away in the event of a healthcare emergency. Netcare 911 employs the latest in technology to ensure the fastest possible response to any medical emergency.”

Netcare 911 emergency vehicles are, for example, equipped with global positioning technology (GPS) technology, and the service also utilises satellite tracking in all their emergency vehicles. Custom designed integrated call taking (ICT) and integrated dispatch system (IDS) technology in the emergency operations centre ensure that the nearest emergency response team is dispatched to the scene. 

“Emergency medical personnel often refer to the first 60 minutes following an emergency as the ‘golden hour’”, adds Staples. “This is the window of opportunity where appropriate pre-hospital emergency medical care can positively impact the medical outcome of the patient. We at Netcare 911 therefore place considerable emphasis on this aspect of our operations.”

The 24-hour Netcare 911 service has a dedicated emergency operations centre linked to well known emergency number: 082 911. The Netcare 911 emergency operations centre is the largest in the southern hemisphere and its state-of-the-art technology assists in ensuring a rapid response.

“Netcare 911 has an outstanding track record and attends to more than 100 000 emergency incidents every year in South Africa. Our services include evacuation by road or air transportation, inter-hospital transfers, as well as planned patient transport.”

Netcare 911 is a private emergency services provider. It can call on fixed-wing jet air ambulance aircraft to assist with patient evacuation where necessary, and operates a 24-hour helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS).

How to call for emergency medical assistance

Just how do you call for emergency medical assistance? Staples suggests that you keep the Netcare 911 emergency number, 082 911, handy at all times and call it immediately if you have a medical emergency.

“Try to stay calm. An operator at Netcare 911’s emergency operations centre, who is fully trained in handling emergency calls, will take your details, provide guidance and, if necessary, dispatch our emergency vehicles and personnel,” he advises.

Be ready to provide the dispatcher at the emergency operations centre with the following information:

  • Who? The dispatcher will ask for your name and phone numbers in case the connection is lost, or if authorities need to get more information from you later.
  • What? Tell the dispatcher as much as you can about the nature of the medical emergency, as well as whether there are other circumstances they should be aware of, for example a fire, traffic hazard, etc.
  • Where? Let the dispatcher know exactly where the emergency is happening. Tell them what city and road you are in and give them landmarks that could help them to locate the incident easily.

Make sure you stay on the line until the dispatcher has obtained all the necessary information from you. The dispatcher may provide guidance to you regarding what first aid to apply while you wait for the emergency services personnel to arrive.

“Netcare 911 has the largest private fleet of ambulances and emergency response vehicles in South Africa and operates throughout the country. We strive to deliver quality patient care, which is grounded by our unwavering commitment to Netcare’s values of care, dignity, participation, truth and passion,” concludes Staples.



Issued by:           Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare 911

Contact :              Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Sarah Wilson and Meggan Saville

Telephone:         (011) 469 3016

Email:         ,, and