Meet our team

  • Jonathan Groenewald

Today we travel to South Africa’s oldest City - the Mother City, a beautiful City with a long rich history and undoubtedly South Africa’s main tourist attraction. The AMS in partnership with the Western Cape Department of Health Emergency Medical Services provides and emergency air ambulance and rescue service to the community. We checked in with our team at Cape Town Base situated in the General Aviation Area of Cape Town International Airport. Here’s a look into the life of Jonathan Groenewald one of our Flight Paramedics and External Load Operators (ELO).

Tell us about yourself: “I was born and raised in Cape Town. I attended Rondebosch Boys High where I completed my matric. I then went on to study Marketing at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT). Once I completed my Marketing Diploma, I started with my degree in Emergency Care and here I am today. I also have a great appreciation for music and can recite just about any song you give me (pity I wasn’t blessed with a good voice though).”

How long have you been with AMS? “I started with AMS whilst I was still working for the Western Cape Department of Health Emergency Medical Services. We were seconded here for two months. Two months became four months, which became six months, and is now going on four years.”

What's the best/worst thing to happen to you since you joined AMS? “The best…meeting fantastic people, learning loads about aviation and now knowing what the difference between a South Easter and North Wester is (one blows the rain away, one brings the rain in, who knew…) The worst thing to happen since I joined… probably the roster.”

What are the three words your colleagues would use to describe you? “Honest/funny/driven (or I hope it’s that at least).”

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy playing bowls (old man’s marbles), listening to and playing music (I’ve played the drums for the last 16 years and currently learning how to play the guitar and enjoy camping in Ceres. I also enjoy watching sport on the weekend and spending time with my Girlfriend (although she will argue I watch way too much sport, but how much is too much really?)”

What is the one thing about you few people know? “I was offered a job at a strip club…… as the DJ. Needless to say I turned it down - much to the dismay of my friends. I also hosted the breakfast show on KFM for a day.”

What is on your bedside table? “A desk lamp, Rosary, minions, phone, an alarm clock radio and other random stuff (I’m a bit of a hoarder).”

If you could have dinner with five famous people from history, who would they be?

“Depends who’s paying. Jimi Hendrix to supply the music. Nelson Mandela to supply the conversation. Gordon Ramsey to supply the food. Oprah because maybe I leave with a car and Trevor Noah to supply the venue have you seen the pics of his latest house purchase? Amazing (oh and for the comic relief of course) but it’s really for his house.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “I have so many when I wake up. If I’m working on the helicopter…. What time is it? Please let it be raining. The wind is 30 knots again. I forgot to charge my phone. Do I have to work today? What’s for lunch? Where did I leave my shoes? What time is it again? If I’m working on the fixed wing…I wonder what time I’m going to George today.”

What has been the happiest day of your life? “I don’t think I can pinpoint a specific day. My off-days make me pretty happy.”

If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be? “Play soccer for Manchester United, DJ in Ibiza.”

The best thing since sliced bread is … “Apparently Albany’s best of both, but I’m not a fan.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Biltong and tea, not necessarily at the same time. Oh, I also love crumbed chicken for some reason.”

What is the one thing, you can’t live without? “My girlfriend (heavy brownie points right there).”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “Biting my nails. My mom used to put that stuff on my nails to stop me biting them. It was so bitter and used to get on my sandwiches at Primary School. Needless to say I became very good at trading lunches.”

Any wise words you will never forget? “I’m only responsible for what I say, not for what you understand.”