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KZN's only private medical choppers launched

14 December 2017 - 13:51 By Jeff Wicks

Holidaymakers soaking up the sun on KwaZulu-Natal’s shores can feel a little safer with the launch of two private aeromedical helicopters in Durban on Thursday.

The helicopters‚ run in close concert by Black Eagle Aviation and IPSS Medical Rescue‚ are the only private air ambulances in the province.

The choppers have been put into service as tens of thousands of holidaymakers make their way to the province for the festive season.

Speaking at the launch of the KwaDukuza Municipality’s festive season on Thursday‚ IPSS Medical Rescue spokesman Paul Herbst said the two newly-launched air ambulances would go a long way in bolstering their existing emergency fleet.

“This will aid us not only during the festive season‚ but going forward as well. For our patients that are in a critical state and need to be rapidly transported to hospital‚ these aeromedical helicopters will make all the difference.

“We deal with situations of life and death and the sooner we can get the critically wounded to hospital the better‚” he added.

Herbst said that the helicopters‚ the only private medical helicopters in the province‚ would be staffed by paramedics and when necessary‚ a flight doctor.

Black Eagle Aviation pilot Captain Frans Haasbroek said that the choppers would change the emergency service landscape in the province.

“We work on the golden hour‚ that is getting the critically injured or wounded to hospital in the quickest possible time and now we will be able to do that.”

The pilot said that the partnership encompassed several private ambulance services‚ including Meditech‚ Hibiscus Med-Evac‚ ER24‚ Midlands EMS, RescueCare and Meditrax.

Haasbroek said that the helicopters would operate during daylight hours.