Rescue heroes to put their skills to the test

World Trauma Day EMS challenge not to be missed

Tuesday, October 13 2015

Approximately a hundred of South Africa’s rescue heroes will be out in full force on Saturday, 17 October to showcase their skills and tenacity in the annual Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Firefighter Challenge held in celebration of World Trauma Day 2015.

The venue for the big showdown is the South African Emergency Care (SAEC) training facility in Ardeer Road, Edenvale, and anyone working or volunteering in emergency medical services, the South African Fire Services or the South African Police Services is invited to participate in the challenge.

Commenting on the EMS Firefighter Challenge and its significance, Rene Grobler, trauma programme manager at Netcare Milpark Hospital, said that World Trauma day, which is commemorated on 17 October every year, presents the ideal opportunity to provide the public with some understanding of the kinds of heroic acts of bravery that are performed on a daily basis by the men and women who work in the emergency services field.

Contestants will be putting their skills to the test in a series of challenging activities that showcase the exceptional skill with which they handle dangerous emergency situations in the line of duty. The event consists of individual as well as team events in which groups of four individuals can participate. Members of the public are invited to come and watch and enjoy what promises to be a memorable family event.

“While these events are fun-filled they are far from easy,” added Amanda Klette, trauma programme manager at Netcare Union Hospital. “For example the obstacle course includes scaffolding that simulates a five-storey high tower and is made up of four challenging individual events.”

“According to the World Health Organization, trauma is a major cause of death and disability worldwide,” notes Mande Toubkin, general manager emergency, trauma, transplant and corporate social investment at Netcare. “The same is true in South Africa, where trauma-related incidents account for approximately 70 000 deaths annually.”

“World Trauma Day focuses on educating people about potentially dangerous situations, what to do in the event of an emergency and how to prevent accidents from happening. Our ultimate aim is to save lives and to decrease the burden imposed by trauma on the country’s health services,” she says.

With the high incidence of trauma-related incidents and the severe impact that they have on South Africa’s already limited healthcare services and economy, Netcare’s trauma division hope to highlight the key role played by emergency services personnel in helping to manage trauma patients to optimise outcomes and contain this burden.

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

“The participants in the games 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 even the flight wing of the South African Police Service. The games will truly test the physical and mental tenacity of the participants.”

The event, which is being hosted for the third year, is supported and endorsed by the Trauma Society of South Africa and is sponsored by Netcare’s Trauma Division and the Glen Shopping Centre.

“The challenge engenders camaraderie between the participants and allows the public to see what kind of teamwork is necessary to successfully deal with an emergency. It will also give one a sense of the type of dangerous but life-saving work done by these incredible individuals on a daily basis,” concludes Toubkin.

Entrance forms for the EMS Firefighter Challenge can be obtained from Amanda Klette ([email protected]) or Rene Grobler ([email protected]). Completed forms can be handed in at the emergency departments of Netcare Milpark and Netcare Union hospitals. Contestants can also register at the SAEC as from 07h00 on the day of the challenge, which commences at 09h00.


Issued by: Martina Nicholson Associates (MNA) on behalf of Netcare and Netcare 911
Contact : Martina Nicholson, Graeme Swinney and Meggan Saville
Telephone: (011) 469 3016
Email: [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]