International research has shown that the appropriate deployment of EMS helicopters has a positive effect on patient outcomes and, as such, their use has been adopted worldwide as a valuable instrument in saving lives.
Netcare 911 subscribes to an internationally accepted set of flight authorisation criteria that govern Netcare 911 HEMS activation and utilisation. The criteria determine when the use of a helicopter is warranted, and which patients will benefit the most from being airlifted.
Netcare 911’s helicopter emergency medical service (HEMS) currently
operates two dedicated, permanently configured and ICU equipped Bell 222
twin engine helicopter air ambulances. Located at Rand Airport in
Gauteng, this is the only helicopter emergency medical service in South
Africa operating 24 hours a day, ensuring that an emergency care
practitioner-based helicopter service is available for immediate
dispatch as a primary resource to life-threatening emergencies at all
times. The Bell 222 helicopter has excellent prowess in terms of flight
range and speed, to rapidly bring lifesaving equipment and care to
patients most in need thereof. This service is also available to
expedite inter-facility transfers of critically ill and injured
Furthermore, Netcare 911 has access to an Augusta 139 helicopter with a three-stretcher patient configuration, which can be activated within 90 minutes for long distance multi-patient inter-facility transfers. Netcare 911 also has service provider agreements with independent helicopter operators in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western and Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the North West province.
All of Netcare 911’s helicopter ambulance services are
efficiently coordinated through a single-source, end-to-end dedicated flight
operations centre based within Netcare 911’s national emergency operations
centre in Midrand, Gauteng.