Understanding Medical Response

Village Talk: 07 May 2014

In the world of medical response, we face a very dire situation, especially in KZN. The public are generally unaware that we have skills shortage crisis on our hands. This is in part because KZN is unregulated and anybody can open up an ambulance service and it does not have to encompass the full skill set.

There are 3 defined ranks; the first, basic life support (BLS) is a 4-week course. A 1000 practicing hours are required before you can then move on to intermediate life support (ILS) which is 14 weeks. Again, 1000 practicing hours is mandatory before you start doing advanced life support (ALS), which is a four degree Bachelor of Healthcare Science.

er24

ER24 from left to right: Emma Boreham (ALS), JP Joubert (ILS) and Yenzi Oliphant (BLS).

What the public does not realise is that just because you see an ambulance, does not mean that you are going to receive the best care. It takes fully qualified practitioners, especially because ALS paramedics are the only ones who can carry drugs, perform lifesaving surgery when required and serve various complex medical functions. It is also interesting to note that BLS will fall away at the end of the year, making ILS the entry-level qualification within medical response services.

Knight Security Solutions (KSS) are now working side by side with Together SA CAN and ER24 medical services. SA CAN and KSS are working from the same control room at the Midlands Incident Management Centre (IMC) in Howick on the KSS premises. ER24's Howick / Midlands ambulance is also based on the KSS premises and has the additional support of an advanced life support rapid-response vehicles.

kss vehicles

Vehicles from left to right: Knight Security Solutions, SA CAN's VCAT and ER24
Standing from left to right: Adriaan Bekker (VCAT), JP Joubert (ILS), Brian Jones (Founder SA CAN), Yenzi Oliphant (BLS), Gunman Khumalo (Armed Response), CJ Preston, Debbie Preston (KSS), Ryan Preston and Emma Boreham (ALS).

All services within the SA CAN IMC centre is directly connected via a specialised international encrypted radio communication network, SA CAN push to talk and serviced by Zello@Work in Texas, USA. They have 10 000 000 million users in emergency services and SA CAN IMC is one the first in South Africa. This ensures all organizations are on a common radio network, and turning the control room into the first security company IMC in South Africa.
This close working relationship between accredited service providers is a first in KZN and South Africa. ER24 is a big brother to many, many organisations because of its drive and commitment to saving lives.

We also look forward to helping support other service providers in the area when there are heart attacks, strokes, service vehicle accidents and drownings etc, where the difference between life and death is the accessibility of advanced life support treatment.

Written by Brian Jones (Founder of Together SA CAN)

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