Critically injured school children transported by Netcare 911

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Date: 4 February 2019
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Critically injured school children transported by Netcare 911

4 February, 2019 - Netcare 911’s dedicated fleet of state-of-the-art ICU air ambulances transport at least five critically injured school children from Hoerskool Driehoek on 1 February over a bridge linking one building to another, collapsed, burying a number of scholars under the heavy concrete slab. Four children were pronounced dead after the tragedy while a further 23 received moderate to critical injuries.

The air ambulances provide a critically important service to patients in South Africa, across the African continent and surrounding islands as well as internationally. This can be vital in cases where prompt evacuation and specialised life-saving pre-hospital emergency medical care may mean the difference between survival and death.

Netcare 911 currently operates two dedicated, permanently configured and ICU equipped Bell 222 twin engine helicopter air ambulances. Based near Johannesburg, this is the only helicopter emergency medical service in South Africa operating 24 hours a day. This is possible only through the use of the twin engined helicopter as single engines are prohibited from undertaking night flights. The Bell 222 has the necessary flight range and speed to bring life-saving equipment to patients in the shortest possible time.

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. It also has service provider agreements with independent helicopter operators in KwaZulu-Natal, the Western and Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and the North West province.

Other than the helicopters, Netcare 911 also has two fixed-wing aircraft; a Hawker HS125-800, for either a two-stretcher operation with two medical crew members and one passenger, or a one-stretcher operation with two medical crew members and three passengers, and a Learjet 55, for either a two-stretcher operation with two medical crew members, or a one-stretcher operation with two medical crew members and one passenger. These aircraft have a range of 3 700km and 2 800km respectively.

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