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Complements the local road ambulance services by providing rapid emergency aero-medical transportation of patients who are critically ill or injured.

Craig Chaplin
  • Craig Chaplin

Meet our Team ...

Today we introduce Craig Chaplin, helicopter pilot based at our Durban operation. Craig joined the AMS family in July this year. Here’s a look into his world … 

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. I grew up in Kloof which is just inland of Durban. I used to spend most of my time on the beach trying to surf. After school I spent two years in the SA Navy, I was a gunner on the Strike Craft. I then went on to study Dental Technology. After I qualified I worked as a technician for a number of years while travelling to Europe and America and being a snow board bum. When I returned from America I decided to become a pilot and get a “real” job. I learned to fly with JNC Helicopters at Virginia in Durban. I have worked in the off shore industry for the past nine-ten years and am very happy to be home now as out of the rotational lifestyle.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “From when I started learning to fly I always wanted to use my profession to help people and I can’t think of a better company than AMS to do that with.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Motorcycle mechanic.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Ride motorbikes, bicycles, I am trying to remember how to surf and I try to keep fit.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I used to play the violin.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I feel proud to be able to help people who are less fortunate than I am.”

What is on your bedside table? “I don’t have a bedside table.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Umm, I can’t think of five but I’d definitely like to have dinner with Lance Armstrong. I want to ask him why he lied. And I want him to give me back my money for the books of his that I bought.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Guaranteed to at some point to be asked...When does a pilot start to sweat?   When the fan turns off” and then the uncomfortable silence as they wait for you to laugh.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “Being able to help my folks buy their house.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Brain Surgeon.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate. Lindt Toasted Sesame.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “See above.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Perseverance.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “You don’t always have to be right.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Have as much fun as possible.”

Meet our Team ...
  • Craig Chaplin

Meet our Team ...

Today we introduce Craig Chaplin, helicopter pilot based at our Durban operation. Craig joined the AMS family in July this year. Here’s a look into his world … 

Tell us about yourself: “I was born in Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal. I grew up in Kloof which is just inland of Durban. I used to spend most of my time on the beach trying to surf. After school I spent two years in the SA Navy, I was a gunner on the Strike Craft. I then went on to study Dental Technology. After I qualified I worked as a technician for a number of years while travelling to Europe and America and being a snow board bum. When I returned from America I decided to become a pilot and get a “real” job. I learned to fly with JNC Helicopters at Virginia in Durban. I have worked in the off shore industry for the past nine-ten years and am very happy to be home now as out of the rotational lifestyle.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS? “From when I started learning to fly I always wanted to use my profession to help people and I can’t think of a better company than AMS to do that with.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Motorcycle mechanic.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Ride motorbikes, bicycles, I am trying to remember how to surf and I try to keep fit.”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I used to play the violin.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I feel proud to be able to help people who are less fortunate than I am.”

What is on your bedside table? “I don’t have a bedside table.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Umm, I can’t think of five but I’d definitely like to have dinner with Lance Armstrong. I want to ask him why he lied. And I want him to give me back my money for the books of his that I bought.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Guaranteed to at some point to be asked...When does a pilot start to sweat?   When the fan turns off” and then the uncomfortable silence as they wait for you to laugh.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “Being able to help my folks buy their house.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Brain Surgeon.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate. Lindt Toasted Sesame.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “See above.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Perseverance.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “You don’t always have to be right.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Have as much fun as possible.”

Marc Lawson
  • Marc Lawson

Meet our team

Today we get to know Marc Lawson, AMO Manager. Marc has been with the AMS family for eight years and is multi-skilled, amongst others an ELO instructor and an aircraft mechanic, here’s a look into his world…

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in Cape Town, but have travelled and stayed in many different countries. I completed high school in Cape Town in 1990 then went on to complete my National Military Service, where I worked for about three years. I joined the Air Force as an Aircraft Mechanic thereafter. I completed my Flight Engineers and Instructors Course in the Air Force and then was off to the Middle East for two years. I came back to South Africa and was offered a job at AMS."

Were you in any other trade before?  “One of life’s philosophies... Jack of all trades and a master of few.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS family?  “I appreciated and had an understanding of what the organisation stands for. This was one of the key factors why I joined.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Understanding women.”

What do you do in your spare time? “What spare time, I work for AMS lol. I service helicopters in my private capacity, I volunteer as a life saver, I have my own aviation school and I am restoring my own two personal aircraft when the time allows.

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am very soft hearted and caring for people in reaching their full potential.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “There is very little repetition.”

What is on your bedside table? “My watch, my cell phone, my pocket Bible and my bedside light that my wife bought which I never use because Eskom is too expensive.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?  “Shoo!  Mmm… I’ve never really thought of it hey … can’t think of anybody … oh wait maybe Donald Trump, I just want to find out how he thinks.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Most people think people that working in aviation is a routine well paid job, when it’s the opposite …”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I got married and when my two sons were born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Shoo! Mmm… a pilot for personal reasons.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate and food is my biggest weakness.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My family. My wife and kids.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “I am caring yet consistent.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “There’s so many of them, Don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today. Saving is part of your budget. Don’t look at others, look at the change you can make.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Enjoy life, go places, do things! The older you become the more painful it is.”  

 

 

Meet our team
  • Marc Lawson

Meet our team

Today we get to know Marc Lawson, AMO Manager. Marc has been with the AMS family for eight years and is multi-skilled, amongst others an ELO instructor and an aircraft mechanic, here’s a look into his world…

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in Cape Town, but have travelled and stayed in many different countries. I completed high school in Cape Town in 1990 then went on to complete my National Military Service, where I worked for about three years. I joined the Air Force as an Aircraft Mechanic thereafter. I completed my Flight Engineers and Instructors Course in the Air Force and then was off to the Middle East for two years. I came back to South Africa and was offered a job at AMS."

Were you in any other trade before?  “One of life’s philosophies... Jack of all trades and a master of few.”

Why did you choose to join the AMS family?  “I appreciated and had an understanding of what the organisation stands for. This was one of the key factors why I joined.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Understanding women.”

What do you do in your spare time? “What spare time, I work for AMS lol. I service helicopters in my private capacity, I volunteer as a life saver, I have my own aviation school and I am restoring my own two personal aircraft when the time allows.

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “I am very soft hearted and caring for people in reaching their full potential.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “There is very little repetition.”

What is on your bedside table? “My watch, my cell phone, my pocket Bible and my bedside light that my wife bought which I never use because Eskom is too expensive.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?  “Shoo!  Mmm… I’ve never really thought of it hey … can’t think of anybody … oh wait maybe Donald Trump, I just want to find out how he thinks.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Most people think people that working in aviation is a routine well paid job, when it’s the opposite …”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When I got married and when my two sons were born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Shoo! Mmm… a pilot for personal reasons.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Chocolate and food is my biggest weakness.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My family. My wife and kids.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “I am caring yet consistent.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “There’s so many of them, Don’t leave for tomorrow what can be done today. Saving is part of your budget. Don’t look at others, look at the change you can make.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Enjoy life, go places, do things! The older you become the more painful it is.”  

 

 

Jeffrey Persens
  • Jeffrey Persens

Meet our team

Our staff member being profiled today, comes from a background and life experience that is as colourful, enduring and diverse as he is. Starting out as a Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) in the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) field, he recently achieved Command Pilot status on the PC12. Captain Jeffrey Persens, joined the AMS family in December 2012 where he first took up the position of NOC assistant while at the same time being part of the AMS Cadet Pilot Development Programme. Jeffrey’s career has grown in leaps and bounds, here’s a look at his journey …

Tell us about yourself: “I grew up on a farm called Driefontein, situated 30kms outside Ceres. At the age of 12 we moved to Ceres where I completed Matric. I started working as a casual worker at a factory now known as Ceres Fruit Juices, after 6 months I was employed full time in the Quality Control Department, during the last six years of my 10 years there I was in the Blending Department, where you blend and test different flavours in order to produce a quality product. I started my flying career in 2007 in Kimberley after finishing at Ceres Fruit Juices. During my time in Kimberley when AMS was still operational there I always saw the PC 12 flying. My Instructor at the time was a volunteer pilot at Kimberley base. One day he took me to the base and showed me the PC 12. I took a few steps back while looking at it and said …. One day I will fly you! Seems like there is truth in the saying be careful what you proclaim out in the universe, it may just come true. Because look where I am today!”

Were you in any other trade before? “I was in the juice making trade, I was in the lorry driving trade – I drove for Shoprite, Coke. I worked for Netcare while doing my flight training, I drove a tip truck to the mines in Kimberley. I also worked for METRO EMS Tygerberg Base before joining AMS.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? To be fluent in English! This English language can be a problem sometimes.”

What do you do in your spare time? “These days it’s watching ENCA! A lekke braai at friends, not the bring and braai kind!”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “Shoo, I don’t know… I can play guitar to amuse myself while sitting on my stoep.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying was always something I wanted to do. I love it when the wheels lift from the ground. I attach a lot of sentimental value to AMS. In 2002, my father was involved in an accident in Richmond near Three Sisters. He sustained a lot of internal injuries. It was night time when AMS flew him with the PC 12 from Beaufort West to Cape Town where he underwent operations and unfortunately at a later stage passed away. AMS is very special to me, they fulfilled this emergency need in my personal life. It’s always good to help people and make a difference in their life.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible, something I reach for every morning to obtain some wisdom from the wise Solomon - before having my morning coffee.” 

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I’m not into famous people, but I would definitely want to have dinner with my father, my grandmother and grandfather from my mother’s side. And my father’s biological father.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Most people don’t know about AMS, but when I tell them what we do they are surprisingly impressed. Some people still think I’m a medic.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “There was a few… The day I got the cadetship at AMS, the day I went to the CEO to get a permanent job in the NOC and when I left the NOC to fly permanently and now obtaining my Captaincy. Quite frankly I cannot think that I have had a bad day at AMS! I am very happy and privileged to be here.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “A cup of coffee and chocolate before bed!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Someone once said you can’t live without oxygen.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Probably joker, but I can also be a deep thinker.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Just live, every day!”

 

 

Meet our team
  • Jeffrey Persens

Meet our team

Our staff member being profiled today, comes from a background and life experience that is as colourful, enduring and diverse as he is. Starting out as a Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) in the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) field, he recently achieved Command Pilot status on the PC12. Captain Jeffrey Persens, joined the AMS family in December 2012 where he first took up the position of NOC assistant while at the same time being part of the AMS Cadet Pilot Development Programme. Jeffrey’s career has grown in leaps and bounds, here’s a look at his journey …

Tell us about yourself: “I grew up on a farm called Driefontein, situated 30kms outside Ceres. At the age of 12 we moved to Ceres where I completed Matric. I started working as a casual worker at a factory now known as Ceres Fruit Juices, after 6 months I was employed full time in the Quality Control Department, during the last six years of my 10 years there I was in the Blending Department, where you blend and test different flavours in order to produce a quality product. I started my flying career in 2007 in Kimberley after finishing at Ceres Fruit Juices. During my time in Kimberley when AMS was still operational there I always saw the PC 12 flying. My Instructor at the time was a volunteer pilot at Kimberley base. One day he took me to the base and showed me the PC 12. I took a few steps back while looking at it and said …. One day I will fly you! Seems like there is truth in the saying be careful what you proclaim out in the universe, it may just come true. Because look where I am today!”

Were you in any other trade before? “I was in the juice making trade, I was in the lorry driving trade – I drove for Shoprite, Coke. I worked for Netcare while doing my flight training, I drove a tip truck to the mines in Kimberley. I also worked for METRO EMS Tygerberg Base before joining AMS.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? To be fluent in English! This English language can be a problem sometimes.”

What do you do in your spare time? “These days it’s watching ENCA! A lekke braai at friends, not the bring and braai kind!”

What might someone be surprised to know about you? “Shoo, I don’t know… I can play guitar to amuse myself while sitting on my stoep.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Flying was always something I wanted to do. I love it when the wheels lift from the ground. I attach a lot of sentimental value to AMS. In 2002, my father was involved in an accident in Richmond near Three Sisters. He sustained a lot of internal injuries. It was night time when AMS flew him with the PC 12 from Beaufort West to Cape Town where he underwent operations and unfortunately at a later stage passed away. AMS is very special to me, they fulfilled this emergency need in my personal life. It’s always good to help people and make a difference in their life.”

What is on your bedside table? “My Bible, something I reach for every morning to obtain some wisdom from the wise Solomon - before having my morning coffee.” 

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I’m not into famous people, but I would definitely want to have dinner with my father, my grandmother and grandfather from my mother’s side. And my father’s biological father.”

When your friends/family find out what you do, what do they say or ask? “Most people don’t know about AMS, but when I tell them what we do they are surprisingly impressed. Some people still think I’m a medic.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “There was a few… The day I got the cadetship at AMS, the day I went to the CEO to get a permanent job in the NOC and when I left the NOC to fly permanently and now obtaining my Captaincy. Quite frankly I cannot think that I have had a bad day at AMS! I am very happy and privileged to be here.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “A cup of coffee and chocolate before bed!”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Someone once said you can’t live without oxygen.”

What is the one quality you feel best describes you? “Probably joker, but I can also be a deep thinker.”

Do you have a life philosophy? “Just live, every day!”

 

 

Kogie Naidoo
  • Kogie Naidoo

Meet our team...

During the month of August we pay homage to women of our nation, it is just fitting that this week we feature one of our phenomenal women in our organisation. Kogie Naidoo, Durban Base Manager has been with the AMS since 1998, here’s a look into her world …

 

Tell us about yourself?  I was born in Addington Hospital, grew up in Chatsworth. I finished school at Westcliff Secondary and completed my Management Degree with UNISA.

Were you in any other trade before?  I have always worked in the emergency field even though I don’t have any medical background.   I worked at AEMS (now known as EMS) from 1982 to 1994 and thereafter at Medical Rescue International from 1994 to 1998 and then started with AMS in June 1998 to date.

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?  A Paramedic.

What do you do in your spare time?  Gardening, sewing, reading, and looking after my family.

What is the one thing about you few people know?  I have a terribly sweet tooth despite being a diabetic. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?   Interacting with people and no two days are alike, each day is different.

What is on your bedside table?   Hot bag (for the stress, aches and pains), book (which I barely get to read– five pages and I am fast asleep) and my cell phone (for the late night calls from the pilots).

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?   Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?   Shirley is leaving today, 28 August 2018 – what a sad day for all of us. Better get my tissues ready.

What has been the happiest day of your life?   There is a few happy days.  My wedding, the day my children and grandchildren were born.   Starting work at AMS and flying around KZN in this small aeroplane, not so small after all. 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?  A matron in a hospital. 

What is your greatest indulgence?   Chocolates and butter cream cake.

What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  Tea and family.

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?   Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!

What animal best represents you and why?   Tigress – strong character and fiercely protective.    Even though the ladies in the office think I am a “dragon”.

Any motto you live by?    “The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you!!!

 

 

Meet our team...
  • Kogie Naidoo

Meet our team...

During the month of August we pay homage to women of our nation, it is just fitting that this week we feature one of our phenomenal women in our organisation. Kogie Naidoo, Durban Base Manager has been with the AMS since 1998, here’s a look into her world …

 

Tell us about yourself?  I was born in Addington Hospital, grew up in Chatsworth. I finished school at Westcliff Secondary and completed my Management Degree with UNISA.

Were you in any other trade before?  I have always worked in the emergency field even though I don’t have any medical background.   I worked at AEMS (now known as EMS) from 1982 to 1994 and thereafter at Medical Rescue International from 1994 to 1998 and then started with AMS in June 1998 to date.

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be?  A Paramedic.

What do you do in your spare time?  Gardening, sewing, reading, and looking after my family.

What is the one thing about you few people know?  I have a terribly sweet tooth despite being a diabetic. 

What do you enjoy most about your job?   Interacting with people and no two days are alike, each day is different.

What is on your bedside table?   Hot bag (for the stress, aches and pains), book (which I barely get to read– five pages and I am fast asleep) and my cell phone (for the late night calls from the pilots).

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?   Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, Gerard Butler, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning?   Shirley is leaving today, 28 August 2018 – what a sad day for all of us. Better get my tissues ready.

What has been the happiest day of your life?   There is a few happy days.  My wedding, the day my children and grandchildren were born.   Starting work at AMS and flying around KZN in this small aeroplane, not so small after all. 

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be?  A matron in a hospital. 

What is your greatest indulgence?   Chocolates and butter cream cake.

What is the one thing, you can’t live without?  Tea and family.

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?   Don’t let anyone dull your sparkle!

What animal best represents you and why?   Tigress – strong character and fiercely protective.    Even though the ladies in the office think I am a “dragon”.

Any motto you live by?    “The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you!!!

 

 

Riaan Combrinck
  • Riaan Combrinck

Meet our team...

Today we introduce Riaan Combrinck, Aviation Maintenance Engineer based in Durban. Riaan has been with the organisation for three years and seven months, here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself? “I was born in Bloemfontein, grew up in Pretoria. After completing Matric, I started my career in the SA Air Force immediately as an apprentice aircraft maintenance engineer, qualifying in February 2005.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Complete mindfulness and inner peace.”

What do you do in your spare time? “What is spare time??? I actually enjoy studying computer programming and building little automation projects for my home.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Solving the problems and challenges faced daily.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Alan Watts, Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Lao Tsu and Confucius.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day my beautiful daughter Zanria was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To be a teacher, because they have a great influence on who we become.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Drinking condensed milk out of the tin… and participating in motorsport.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Peanut butter…..oh and those special individuals that have given their time to help me become the person I am today.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Do not take anything in life too personal, most of us don’t even know why we are here let alone understand why we are self-conscious.”

Any motto you live by? “Do not listen with the intent to reply, listen with the intent to understand” Stephen Covey.

 

 

Meet our team...
  • Riaan Combrinck

Meet our team...

Today we introduce Riaan Combrinck, Aviation Maintenance Engineer based in Durban. Riaan has been with the organisation for three years and seven months, here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself? “I was born in Bloemfontein, grew up in Pretoria. After completing Matric, I started my career in the SA Air Force immediately as an apprentice aircraft maintenance engineer, qualifying in February 2005.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Complete mindfulness and inner peace.”

What do you do in your spare time? “What is spare time??? I actually enjoy studying computer programming and building little automation projects for my home.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Solving the problems and challenges faced daily.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Alan Watts, Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, Lao Tsu and Confucius.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The day my beautiful daughter Zanria was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “To be a teacher, because they have a great influence on who we become.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Drinking condensed milk out of the tin… and participating in motorsport.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Peanut butter…..oh and those special individuals that have given their time to help me become the person I am today.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Do not take anything in life too personal, most of us don’t even know why we are here let alone understand why we are self-conscious.”

Any motto you live by? “Do not listen with the intent to reply, listen with the intent to understand” Stephen Covey.

 

 

KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration

KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration

Guest of honour and keynote speaker, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo celebrated the 20 year partnership with the AMS and the recently launched National Lotteries Commission (NLC) funded mobile medical simulator at Durban Country Club. The AMS in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health celebrated 20 years of providing access to healthcare to the rural and urban communities of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Please see gallery for more information and images.

KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration
  • KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration

KwaZulu-Natal 20th Anniversary Celebration

Guest of honour and keynote speaker, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo celebrated the 20 year partnership with the AMS and the recently launched National Lotteries Commission (NLC) funded mobile medical simulator at Durban Country Club. The AMS in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health celebrated 20 years of providing access to healthcare to the rural and urban communities of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Please see gallery for more information and images.

Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women

AMS Celebrates the Development of Women

To kickstart Women’s Month, where homage is paid to women of our nation who have helped shaped South Africa and to celebrate those who continue to lead the country, The AMS is celebrating the development of women in the highly skilled aero-medical environment. Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo guest of honour and keynote speaker recognised the role of women in this specialised technical environment that ensures the provision of healthcare services rendered to all communities.

The investment of the AMS training development programme has produced successful results.  The organisation successfully trained Ayesha Allies as the second female external load operator (ELO) in the civilian environment (the 1st woman, Lindsey Cyster was also trained by the AMS & is still active in this role). Heather Arnold was employed as the first AMS female Captain on the Pilatus PC 12. Sabrina Govender, a young, newly graduated Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) was empowered and developed to become a fully-fledged signed-out flight paramedic.

“At AMS we believe in investing in the future by developing skilled specialists and making a significant contribution to the industry. The organisation actively pursues programmes that addresses the shortage of skills within the aero-medical field. We are proud to celebrate the women in our industry who continue to make strides in our society to ensure that healthcare reaches all South Africans”, said Dr Philip Erasmus AMS CEO.

As part of the organisation’s added value service, the AMS established a training unit for the purpose of facilitation of learning and skills development. The establishment of a mobile medical training simulator unit funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) provides a cost effective learning platform for medical personnel to be trained in the field of Emergency Medical Services. “This road based unit will make training more accessible to staff working in the rural areas, creating opportunities for career growth, capacity building, and skills development, ensuring the efficient and equitable utilisation of the air ambulance service. Currently, the role-out of this project is also being led by a young woman, Jocelyn Park-Ross”, Erasmus added.

“We encourage the development of this scarce skill among our emergency medical and aero-medical workers. I am especially proud of the women who train and are successful. We are proud to form part of Women’s Empowerment programme in partnership with AMS that extends beyond 40 years. The long standing partnership with AMS is one of the key factors for success of the programme” said Minister Mbombo.

 

AMS Celebrates the Development of Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women
  • Development of AMS Women

AMS Celebrates the Development of Women

To kickstart Women’s Month, where homage is paid to women of our nation who have helped shaped South Africa and to celebrate those who continue to lead the country, The AMS is celebrating the development of women in the highly skilled aero-medical environment. Minister, Nomafrench Mbombo guest of honour and keynote speaker recognised the role of women in this specialised technical environment that ensures the provision of healthcare services rendered to all communities.

The investment of the AMS training development programme has produced successful results.  The organisation successfully trained Ayesha Allies as the second female external load operator (ELO) in the civilian environment (the 1st woman, Lindsey Cyster was also trained by the AMS & is still active in this role). Heather Arnold was employed as the first AMS female Captain on the Pilatus PC 12. Sabrina Govender, a young, newly graduated Emergency Care Practitioner (ECP) was empowered and developed to become a fully-fledged signed-out flight paramedic.

“At AMS we believe in investing in the future by developing skilled specialists and making a significant contribution to the industry. The organisation actively pursues programmes that addresses the shortage of skills within the aero-medical field. We are proud to celebrate the women in our industry who continue to make strides in our society to ensure that healthcare reaches all South Africans”, said Dr Philip Erasmus AMS CEO.

As part of the organisation’s added value service, the AMS established a training unit for the purpose of facilitation of learning and skills development. The establishment of a mobile medical training simulator unit funded by the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) provides a cost effective learning platform for medical personnel to be trained in the field of Emergency Medical Services. “This road based unit will make training more accessible to staff working in the rural areas, creating opportunities for career growth, capacity building, and skills development, ensuring the efficient and equitable utilisation of the air ambulance service. Currently, the role-out of this project is also being led by a young woman, Jocelyn Park-Ross”, Erasmus added.

“We encourage the development of this scarce skill among our emergency medical and aero-medical workers. I am especially proud of the women who train and are successful. We are proud to form part of Women’s Empowerment programme in partnership with AMS that extends beyond 40 years. The long standing partnership with AMS is one of the key factors for success of the programme” said Minister Mbombo.

 

Gary Whittaker
  • Gary Whittaker

Meet our team

Today our platform of getting to know our team allows us to introduce Gary Whittaker

Emergency Care Technician (ECT) at our Cape Town operation. Here’s a look into his world …

How long have you been with AMS? “I have been employed at Air Mercy Service (AMS) for the past four years, two years at the clinic and two years flight operations and loving it.”

 Tell us about yourself? “I was born and raised in Grassy Park, Cape Town. I attended St Anne’s Primary School, I matriculated at Grassy Park High School. I completed my Diploma in Electrical Engineering Heavy Current, completed my Basic Ambulance course at the Metro College and ECT at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). I have been active as a METRO volunteer for the past six years and I love giving time back to the community.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Yes, I have been active in the electrical and mechanical trade but the medical field was always my passion and still is.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I always find flying very interesting and it’s fascinating how the aircraft works, I would love to master the skill of flying the aircraft.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I spend time with my friends, family and my special lady. I enjoy fun times at family functions or being out around nature and having to spend time on the road being operational at METRO.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I can be shy at times and very active at church.”

 What do you enjoy most about your job? “The ability to interact with patients in terms of patient care, to make them feel comfortable. Good and happy is the ability to fly and make a difference in someone's life but not just that, also to save lives. Every day is different never the same and always learning.”

What is on your bedside table? “My bed lamp and books.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Chris Barnard.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The happiest day of my life was helping a lady that was giving birth in her car at Kenilworth centre and delivered twins and one of the twins was named after me.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “That would be running this country so I can restore the madness that's going on.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love chocolate.”

 What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Lol having fun most important.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Best advice will definitely be - never listen to what people have to say about you, or what they think of you.  If you pay attention to what they say, you will get nowhere in life, which is so true.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Lol that will have to be a bear as it has two sides good and bad.”

 Any motto you live by? “Hard work always pays off at the end and never judge a book by its cover, open it and read it.”

 

 

Meet our team
  • Gary Whittaker

Meet our team

Today our platform of getting to know our team allows us to introduce Gary Whittaker

Emergency Care Technician (ECT) at our Cape Town operation. Here’s a look into his world …

How long have you been with AMS? “I have been employed at Air Mercy Service (AMS) for the past four years, two years at the clinic and two years flight operations and loving it.”

 Tell us about yourself? “I was born and raised in Grassy Park, Cape Town. I attended St Anne’s Primary School, I matriculated at Grassy Park High School. I completed my Diploma in Electrical Engineering Heavy Current, completed my Basic Ambulance course at the Metro College and ECT at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). I have been active as a METRO volunteer for the past six years and I love giving time back to the community.”

Were you in any other trade before? “Yes, I have been active in the electrical and mechanical trade but the medical field was always my passion and still is.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “I always find flying very interesting and it’s fascinating how the aircraft works, I would love to master the skill of flying the aircraft.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I spend time with my friends, family and my special lady. I enjoy fun times at family functions or being out around nature and having to spend time on the road being operational at METRO.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I can be shy at times and very active at church.”

 What do you enjoy most about your job? “The ability to interact with patients in terms of patient care, to make them feel comfortable. Good and happy is the ability to fly and make a difference in someone's life but not just that, also to save lives. Every day is different never the same and always learning.”

What is on your bedside table? “My bed lamp and books.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Chris Barnard.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The happiest day of my life was helping a lady that was giving birth in her car at Kenilworth centre and delivered twins and one of the twins was named after me.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “That would be running this country so I can restore the madness that's going on.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love chocolate.”

 What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Lol having fun most important.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Best advice will definitely be - never listen to what people have to say about you, or what they think of you.  If you pay attention to what they say, you will get nowhere in life, which is so true.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Lol that will have to be a bear as it has two sides good and bad.”

 Any motto you live by? “Hard work always pays off at the end and never judge a book by its cover, open it and read it.”

 

 

Jocelyn Park-Ross
  • Jocelyn Park-Ross

Meet our Team ...

Today we get to know Jocelyn Park-Ross affectionately known as Jo, Clinical Training and Development based at our Head office. Here’s a look into her world…

How long have you been with AMS? “I started flying with AMS in 2012 when I worked for the provincial ambulance service and have worked here since 2014 as a flight paramedic at Cape Town base. A year ago I moved from Cape Town base into Head Office to take up a clinical training post.”

Tell us about yourself?  “I was born in Cape Town but grew up in Blantyre in Malawi where my Dad worked as an engineer building ships, schools, and dry docks– we moved to Cape Town in 1999, where I completed my  High School studies at Westerford . I studied to be a paramedic at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). I have a little sister who is my favourite person in the world.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I worked as a horse riding instructor during university and briefly as a dancer during the soccer world cup.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I spend time with friends, ride my horse, and drink gin. I love travelling, especially around Africa. I love anything to do with the ocean. I also go scuba diving as much as I can, just In case my research supervisor is reading this – I also spend a lot of time working on my Master’s thesis!”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I love plants – possibly an obsessive amount.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love that every day is different. My job includes clinical training, clinical governance, development of course materials, setting up new bases, flight paramedic shifts and everything in between. I love the people here at AMS and the passion they bring to their jobs.”

What is on your bedside table?

Flowers, always!

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I would give them all up to have dinner with my grandmother who passed away last year. I miss her terribly and I need her sweet chilli jam recipe.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I would be a dive leader on a dive boat anywhere in the Caribbean (although after one day, I may just stay forever).”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “A mentor taught me to be solid about my goals but flexible about my methods of reaching them, and that being kind is more important than being right.”

 

Meet our Team ...
  • Jocelyn Park-Ross

Meet our Team ...

Today we get to know Jocelyn Park-Ross affectionately known as Jo, Clinical Training and Development based at our Head office. Here’s a look into her world…

How long have you been with AMS? “I started flying with AMS in 2012 when I worked for the provincial ambulance service and have worked here since 2014 as a flight paramedic at Cape Town base. A year ago I moved from Cape Town base into Head Office to take up a clinical training post.”

Tell us about yourself?  “I was born in Cape Town but grew up in Blantyre in Malawi where my Dad worked as an engineer building ships, schools, and dry docks– we moved to Cape Town in 1999, where I completed my  High School studies at Westerford . I studied to be a paramedic at Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). I have a little sister who is my favourite person in the world.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I worked as a horse riding instructor during university and briefly as a dancer during the soccer world cup.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I spend time with friends, ride my horse, and drink gin. I love travelling, especially around Africa. I love anything to do with the ocean. I also go scuba diving as much as I can, just In case my research supervisor is reading this – I also spend a lot of time working on my Master’s thesis!”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I love plants – possibly an obsessive amount.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love that every day is different. My job includes clinical training, clinical governance, development of course materials, setting up new bases, flight paramedic shifts and everything in between. I love the people here at AMS and the passion they bring to their jobs.”

What is on your bedside table?

Flowers, always!

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I would give them all up to have dinner with my grandmother who passed away last year. I miss her terribly and I need her sweet chilli jam recipe.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “I would be a dive leader on a dive boat anywhere in the Caribbean (although after one day, I may just stay forever).”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “A mentor taught me to be solid about my goals but flexible about my methods of reaching them, and that being kind is more important than being right.”

 

Nolan Walters
  • Nolan Walters

Meet our Team ...

Today we get to know one of our National Operations Centre (NOC) Assistant’s a little better. Nolan Walters has been with the organisation for three years and is one of the members of a small team of dedicated individuals who ensures delivery of appropriate resources to those in need of specialised air ambulance and rescue assistance. Here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself? “I was born in Cape Town, grew up in Belhar and is still currently residing there, just a few houses away from where I used to reside with my parents.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I did a course in Computer Software after I matriculated, then left to start my career in the medical field while working in retail part time.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Different types of welding.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Besides studying now or spending time with my family, I work on my unfinished project racing car.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I talk a lot once I get started – never knew that till the day my wife started pointing it out.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “Everything, I don’t have the most exciting job but seeing others do the exciting stuff gets me all excited.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp, my son’s two dolls, my son’s rattle toy and the TV remote - my things got chucked into the drawer when my son was born.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “My four grandparents and my father’s eldest brother I never got to meet.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I need to get up and get ready for work, but found myself waking up ­+-6 minutes later thinking the same thing but just with a more serious attitude.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The birth of my son.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Give underprivileged kids the time of their lives.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Adrenaline rush.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Spending time in the garage.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Forget about what others have to say about you, just focus on yourself and what you are doing.”

Any motto you live by? “Just live life and keep smiling.”

 

Meet our Team ...
  • Nolan Walters

Meet our Team ...

Today we get to know one of our National Operations Centre (NOC) Assistant’s a little better. Nolan Walters has been with the organisation for three years and is one of the members of a small team of dedicated individuals who ensures delivery of appropriate resources to those in need of specialised air ambulance and rescue assistance. Here’s a look into his world …

Tell us about yourself? “I was born in Cape Town, grew up in Belhar and is still currently residing there, just a few houses away from where I used to reside with my parents.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I did a course in Computer Software after I matriculated, then left to start my career in the medical field while working in retail part time.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Different types of welding.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Besides studying now or spending time with my family, I work on my unfinished project racing car.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I talk a lot once I get started – never knew that till the day my wife started pointing it out.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “Everything, I don’t have the most exciting job but seeing others do the exciting stuff gets me all excited.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp, my son’s two dolls, my son’s rattle toy and the TV remote - my things got chucked into the drawer when my son was born.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “My four grandparents and my father’s eldest brother I never got to meet.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I need to get up and get ready for work, but found myself waking up ­+-6 minutes later thinking the same thing but just with a more serious attitude.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “The birth of my son.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Give underprivileged kids the time of their lives.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Adrenaline rush.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Spending time in the garage.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Forget about what others have to say about you, just focus on yourself and what you are doing.”

Any motto you live by? “Just live life and keep smiling.”

 

Tryphina Kopies
  • Tryphina Kopies

Meet our Team ...

Today we introduce Tryphina Kopies, General Assistant based at Head office. Tryphina has been part of the team for nine months and ensures that our facilities are kept in pristine condition. Here’s a look into Tryphina’s world …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in the Eastern Cape in a place called Endwe.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I worked at Lapro in Johannesburg.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Sewing.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I go out or bond with my family.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Interacting with different people.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I have three in mind Bonang Matheba, Oprah Winfrey and Basetsana Kumalo.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “The first thing I think of everyday is traffic jam.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When my first child was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Social worker.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My children.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Trust but verify.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Bear – represent strength and power.”

Any motto you live by? “The most important time in the world is the time you make for yourself.”

 

 

Meet our Team ...
  • Tryphina Kopies

Meet our Team ...

Today we introduce Tryphina Kopies, General Assistant based at Head office. Tryphina has been part of the team for nine months and ensures that our facilities are kept in pristine condition. Here’s a look into Tryphina’s world …

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in the Eastern Cape in a place called Endwe.”

Were you in any other trade before? “I worked at Lapro in Johannesburg.”

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Sewing.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I go out or bond with my family.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Interacting with different people.”

What is on your bedside table? “A lamp.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “I have three in mind Bonang Matheba, Oprah Winfrey and Basetsana Kumalo.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “The first thing I think of everyday is traffic jam.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “When my first child was born.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Social worker.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My children.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Trust but verify.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Bear – represent strength and power.”

Any motto you live by? “The most important time in the world is the time you make for yourself.”

 

 

Rob Fenenga
  • Rob Fenenga

Meet our Team ...

Today we welcome Rob Fenenga to the AMS family. Rob joined the team on the 4th of June as a Rotor Wing Pilot at our King Shaka Base.  Here’s a look into his world …

 

Tell us about yourself: “I am 178cms, blonde, weigh plus minus 78kgs. I was born in Pretoria on the 9th of November 1973, I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of leafy Johannesburg. However I spent the last 10 years in KwaZulu-Natal – I followed a girl here. I am a keen mountain biker/cyclist I also enjoy computers and most outdoor sports.”

Were you in any other trade before? “No, it’s been aviation since the mid-1990s. I had a stint as an aerodrome flight information controller at Grand Central Airport and also helped out as a charter operator dispatching flights.”

What is the best /worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “The best things Agusta A119 conversion and the R62 drive to Oudtshoorn.” 

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Software developer.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I’m a coffee addict. Seattle coffee.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Cycling and practice programming.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being out there in the cruise perfect weather conditions and seeing new places.”

What is on your bedside table? “iPhone and a book.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Ayrton Senna, Gordon Cooper – Mercury astronaut, Barack Obama and Pele the footballer.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Coffee.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “I don’t have a happiest day of my life – there’s been lots of good ones.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Go into space! 1 x orbit.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Coffee, Italian food, curry.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Laptop.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Cannot single out any – lots of good advice.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Dog – I’m a fan of them. Loyalty.”

Any motto you live by? “Take it easy.”

 

Meet our Team ...
  • Rob Fenenga

Meet our Team ...

Today we welcome Rob Fenenga to the AMS family. Rob joined the team on the 4th of June as a Rotor Wing Pilot at our King Shaka Base.  Here’s a look into his world …

 

Tell us about yourself: “I am 178cms, blonde, weigh plus minus 78kgs. I was born in Pretoria on the 9th of November 1973, I grew up in the Northern Suburbs of leafy Johannesburg. However I spent the last 10 years in KwaZulu-Natal – I followed a girl here. I am a keen mountain biker/cyclist I also enjoy computers and most outdoor sports.”

Were you in any other trade before? “No, it’s been aviation since the mid-1990s. I had a stint as an aerodrome flight information controller at Grand Central Airport and also helped out as a charter operator dispatching flights.”

What is the best /worst thing to happen to you since you started working at AMS? “The best things Agusta A119 conversion and the R62 drive to Oudtshoorn.” 

If you could master one skill you don’t have right now, what would it be? “Software developer.”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I’m a coffee addict. Seattle coffee.”

What do you do in your spare time? “Cycling and practice programming.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Being out there in the cruise perfect weather conditions and seeing new places.”

What is on your bedside table? “iPhone and a book.”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be? “Albert Einstein, Ayrton Senna, Gordon Cooper – Mercury astronaut, Barack Obama and Pele the footballer.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Coffee.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “I don’t have a happiest day of my life – there’s been lots of good ones.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Go into space! 1 x orbit.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Coffee, Italian food, curry.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “Laptop.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Cannot single out any – lots of good advice.”

What animal best represents you and why? “Dog – I’m a fan of them. Loyalty.”

Any motto you live by? “Take it easy.”