The past financial year has been one of the busiest that the Oudtshoorn base has seen since its incepion. 438 missions were flown, with 525.1 flying hours and 359 patients were flown. 17 mountain and 1 sea rescue mission were completed.
Close partnership with members of the Provincial Government of the Western Cape’s Emergency Medical Services has been essential to the operation. The dedication and skill of the medics and rescue technicians that are involved in the AMS operation without being permanent employees is truly exemplary. Our relationship with the services that show such support to the AMS hugely benefit our patients is something which we are justifiably proud of. Inter-facility transfers remain the bulk of the missions flown by the Oudtshoorn rotor wing. The hospitals in the area serviced by the Oudtshoorn rotor wing see all manner of challenging medical and trauma cases, and many doctors have expressed relief knowing that their patients will not have to undergo long and arduous journeys by road but can have a quick and smooth flight to definitive care. This is only possible thanks to the enormous investment in aeromedicine that the Western Cape Department of Health has made on behalf of its patients, and it is because of that investment that the AMS can continue changing lives, saving lives. We look forward to a year of further growth and development.
The Oudtshoorn base was established at the beginning of June 2005. Oudtshoorn was chosen due to its central location in terms of serving rural communities, easy access to referral hospitals, as well as its close proximity to the N1 and N2 highways, which have a notoriously high motor vehicle accident rate.
The helicopter complements the existing ground ambulance service by providing immediate access to Advanced Life Support (ALS) for critically ill or injured patients in the eastern part of the Western Cape Province.
The helicopter will ideally cover a 200 km radius from its base and service Beaufort West, Calitzdorp, Heidelberg, Knysna, Ladismith, Laingsburg, Leeu Gamka, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Plettenberg Bay, Prince Albert, Riversdale and Uniondale.