Police Cadet airlifted from Graaf Reinet

Unloading patient at Greenacres Hospital

I got the call at 11:30 to transfer a critical patient from Midlands Hospital in Graaf Reinet to Greenacres Hospital in Port Elizabeth. The patient, a police student cadet at the Graaf Reinet Police Academy, had collapsed whilst doing a 10km run.

After checking the weather on route, I departed Port Elizabeth Airport at 11:54 and arrived at Midlands Hospital at 13:18. The patient was stabilized ready for the flight and we were airborne again at 14:12 arriving at Greenacres Hospital at 15:30.

The road was blocked off for the helicopter to land at the helipad, laid out on the access road to Greenacres Shopping Center. Road landings in busy urban areas have been treated with care, as the general public get over excited when they see helicopters, and can do stupid things.

Landing at Greenacres Helipad

Unloading patient at Greenacres Hospital

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Drowning at Sardinia Bay

Sardinia Bay, Eastern Cape

At 15:22, I got a call to respond to a drowning at Sardinia Bay, near Port Elizabeth. I got airborne at 15:30, arriving on scene at 15:36. Due to the high density of people in the car park, I landed in the dunes, next to the car park. Sand was not a problem as the dunes had low scrub vegetation covering them.

The teenage girl had been resuscitated by PE Metro Paramedics on scene, and stabilized ready to be transferred by helicopter to St. Georges Hospital in Port Elizabeth.

I was airborne again at 15:42 and the flight to St. George’s Hospital lasted 5 minutes. The roads were very busy with beach goers, so the helicopter represented a significant time saving in a life threatening situation such as this.

Joubertina Community Clinic

ZS-RAC at Joubertina Community Clinic

On Saturday the 31st of December 2011, I got a call at 07:30 to collect a newborn baby from Joubertina Community Clinic. Joubertina is situated in the Langkloof Valley on the R62, 88Nm west of Port Elizabeth Airport. Joubertina is predominantly a farming community.

I was airborne at 8:06 and we arrived on scene at 9:00. The patient was stabilized in an incubator, ready for the transfer flight.

We left Joubertina at 9:48 for Dora Nzinga Hospital in Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth.

Using the helicopter in a situation like this, meant that the baby could be in a suitable hospital in under 50 minutes, halving the time by road.

Humansdorp Hospital

ZS-RAC at Humasdorp Hospital

I got the call at 16:08 for a hospital transfer from Humansdorp Hospital, situated 42Nm west of Port Elizabeth.

The patient was a mother who had given birth with a Caesarian section. She was still suffering internal bleeding, following the procedure.

I was airborne at 16:08 from Port Elizabeth, and airborne from PE Metro base with the paramedics at 16:30. We arrived on scene at 16:54.

After stabilizing the mother, we go airborne at 17:18 for Dora Ngiza Hospital at Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth. Flight time was 24 minutes.

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