Johannesburg gets ready for the annual World Trauma Day EMS and Firefighter Challenge

SA rescue heroes pit their life-saving skills against one another

Monday, October 1 2018

On Saturday, 20 October South Africa’s bravest of the brave will be out in full force as they pit their skills and tenacity against one another in the annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Firefighter Challenge held to mark World Trauma Day 2018.

Commenting on the significance of the day, Rene Grobler, trauma programme manager at Netcare Milpark Hospital, said this was the ideal opportunity to provide the public with a glimpse of the world of the men and women who work in emergency services. “It is also a wonderful opportunity for the contestants, on the other hand, to enjoy a day away from the stressful, high pressure environment that characterises a typical day in their lives.”

This will be the sixth year that the event, which has grown in popularity through the years will be hosted by the Netcare Trauma Division. As in the past three years, the venue for the big showdown will be the South African Emergency Care (SAEC) training facility in Ardeer Road, Modderfontein.

“Anyone working or volunteering in emergency medical services, the South African Fire Service or the South African Police Service as well as hospital personnel, trauma counsellors, and JMPD staff dealing with trauma within the private and public sectors are encouraged to participate in the event,” says Grobler.

“The EMS and Firefighter Challenge is an action-packed event as participants get to pit their skills against those of their colleagues in a series of challenging activities requiring exceptional skill. While these events are fun-filled, they are far from easy. A case in point is the obstacle course over a fixed, five-floor scaffolding construction, which actually integrates four individual events.”

“The day consists of individual and team challenges in which teams or individuals can participate. The rescue challenge, for example, is a four-team member participation event and the EMS challenge can be completed by five team members or by individuals,” explains Grobler.

While only those working in the emergency or trauma industries can participate in the various challenges members of the public are invited to come and watch and enjoy what promises to be a memorable, family event. There is no entrance fee to attend the event.

“The event has been so well supported by hospitals that we now also have a trophy for the hospital with the best team spirit,” explains Grobler.  

Mande Toubkin, Netcare general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment, says that the event provides an opportunity to pay tribute to emergency services personnel who often put their own safety on the line in order to save lives.

“The events that form part of the challenge not only attempts to raise awareness of emergency and trauma services in South Africa but is also aimed at recognising the excellent capability, selfless dedication, tireless work and extraordinary acts of bravery performed by South Africa’s emergency services professionals.”

“With the high incidence of emergency and trauma-related incidents and the severe impact that they have not only on the lives of those involved and affected but also on our country’s already limited healthcare services and precious resources, Netcare’s trauma division hopes to highlight the role played by emergency medical services personnel in helping to contain this burden and managing trauma patients on a daily basis,” Toubkin adds.

“The challenge engenders camaraderie and puts teamwork on display, which is always something to behold. It also gives one a sense of the type of dangerous but life-saving work done by these incredible individuals.”

“Our courageous participants will include teams of firefighters, paramedics and students from both public and private emergency medical services such as Netcare 911, nursing and emergency medical staff from Netcare hospitals and other private hospital groups and private Emergency Medical Services. The games will truly test the physical and mental tenacity of the participants,” she warns.

“We would like to encourage all of those who qualify to participate, to enter the challenge. This is a great way for Netcare and the public to say thank you for the incredible service these remarkable men and woman provide within our communities,” concludes Toubkin.
Entry forms for the EMS and Firefighter Challenge can be obtained from Amanda Klette ([email protected]) Rene Grobler ([email protected]) or Mariesa Human ([email protected]) Completed forms can be emailed to Rene, Amanda or Mariesa, or handed in at the emergency departments of Netcare Milpark and Netcare Union hospitals.


Issued by:         MNA on behalf of Netcare
Contact: Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney, Meggan Saville and Estene Lotriet-Vorster
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]