A JOINT exercise was held at the SAPS air wing centre in Durban on Friday to update all role players and keep their skills level up to date regarding hoisting patients using a helicopter.
Involved on the day were the SAPS Search and Rescue Unit, Netcare paramedics, students from the Durban University of Technology and other services that work hand-in-hand on a regular basis to save the lives of patients that have been critically injured.
Under the leadership of the pilot, engineer, search and rescue personnel and the Netcare rescue officer, the personnel went through a briefing about the helicopter and a safety lecture before they were taught how to strap a patient into a ‘stokes basket’ and secure it, with the rescuer, to the hoist of the helicopter.
After two hours of theory and practice they were taken out to practice the real thing – a ‘patient’ was hoisted up to the helicopter with the rescuer-paramedic and then flown to an area simulating a safe area where they were then lowered to the ground, from where the medics could transport the ‘patient’ to hospital.
“A highlight was when the dog handler and his dog were hoisted up and flown around before being lowered to the ground again. To see the professional work and skill from all the units, especially the pilot and his engineer, was fantastic and re-assuring,” said Chris Botha from Netcare 911.
Training was provided on how to strap a patient into a ‘stokes basket’ and secure it with the rescuer to the hoist of the helicopter.
Pictured: One of the rescue simulations during the day. Here, a dog handler and his dog were hoisted up and flown around before being lowered to the ground again.
Story appeared in Berea Mail