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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.

Get to know our staff...

Born and bred in Transkei in the Eastern Cape, Pescott Pokwane based at the AMS King Shaka operation has the important responsibility of keeping the aircraft and base in a neat and tidy condition. Pescott’s early years growing up in the Eastern Cape has taught him patience, the true meaning of life and to appreciate small miracles. Here’s a look into his life …

What is your role within the organisation? “I work as a Hangar Assistant, my role is to keep the hangar clean and in orderly condition and make sure that the aircraft are neat inside and outside.” What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation. “To be consistently brilliant week after week and month after month. Take pride in the work you do in order to do a great job.  You also have to be punctual.”What do you enjoy most about your job? “Interacting with employees on all different levels in the organisation.”What do you do in your spare time? “I love to garden because it calms me. Gardening is indeed soothing and it is a form of meditation for me.  I also spend some of my spare time in church.”What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “My future plans is to buy myself a car, my dream is to win the lottery, my ambitions are to travel the world.”    

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What does this new day have in store for me.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “KFC!”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something.”Any motto you live by? “You want something, go get it. Period.”

 

Get to know our staff...

Get to know our staff...

Born and bred in Transkei in the Eastern Cape, Pescott Pokwane based at the AMS King Shaka operation has the important responsibility of keeping the aircraft and base in a neat and tidy condition. Pescott’s early years growing up in the Eastern Cape has taught him patience, the true meaning of life and to appreciate small miracles. Here’s a look into his life …

What is your role within the organisation? “I work as a Hangar Assistant, my role is to keep the hangar clean and in orderly condition and make sure that the aircraft are neat inside and outside.” What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation. “To be consistently brilliant week after week and month after month. Take pride in the work you do in order to do a great job.  You also have to be punctual.”What do you enjoy most about your job? “Interacting with employees on all different levels in the organisation.”What do you do in your spare time? “I love to garden because it calms me. Gardening is indeed soothing and it is a form of meditation for me.  I also spend some of my spare time in church.”What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “My future plans is to buy myself a car, my dream is to win the lottery, my ambitions are to travel the world.”    

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What does this new day have in store for me.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “KFC!”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Don’t ever let someone tell you that you can’t do something.”Any motto you live by? “You want something, go get it. Period.”

 

Danie Laubscher
  • Danie Laubscher
  • Danie Laubscher

Meet our team ... Senior Fixed Wing Pilot

An individual with a wealth of knowledge, years of flying experience coupled with a streak of unpredictable adventure is exactly how to describe Danie Laubscher, Senior Fixed Wing Pilot based at the AMS’ Cape Town operation. Although Danie has been permanently employed since 2014, his involvement with the organisation dates back to 1998 while he was working for Swiss Air. Danie’s journey started with the AMS when he did the conversions of the AMS pilots when the organisation started operating the Pilatus PC 12 fixed wing aircraft. Danie was also involved with the Flying Doctor Service in KwaZulu-Natal before its official inception. He did the first flight with the management team from Durban International to Matatiele.

Among many of Danie’s interesting and memorable stories having the privilege of flying World Leaders and the King of Pop is definitely worth getting to know this pilot better. Danie had the privilege of flying Nelson Mandela and President Kagame (President of Rwanda) on a few occasions. He flew President Kagame for two years to Germany, England and America to mention a few destinations. In 1997 Danie also flew the King of Pop, Michael Jackson from the AMS Cape Town Base to Sun City.

Here’s a look into Danie’s life …

Where did you grow up: “I grew up in Nigeria and moved to Calvinia in the Northern Cape in South Africa at the age of 5 with my parents.”  

How did you get into aviation, is it something you always wanted to do: “My career in aviation started in 1973 with the Military.  After completing high school I decided I wanted to fly and at that time the only place I could do it was in the Military.  I initially joined the Military to fly helicopters but never got around to it.”

Tell us a little about your aviation career: “I left the Military in 1995 and joined Swiss Air based in Lanseria. I later joined Comair where I worked for the Commercial Airline Kulula. After two years I joined ExecuJet as Chief Pilot, I then went on to fly in Lagos in Nigeria for a few years before joining the AMS family. My full time appointment with AMS started in Durban, after a while I joined the Cape Town team where I am currently based.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “The people that I work with, I love the environment.”

Any special accolades obtained during your aviation career? “I received a few medals while I was in the Military. I received the PRO PATRIA MEDAL CUNENE for participation in Operation SAVANNAH in Angola.”  The following conditions were set out for the awarding of the medal: The recipients would have to have been involved in combat or a skirmish or combat situation or an incident caused by enemy activities, or have participated in a specific operation acknowledged by the Minister of Defence, or have served continuous period of 55 days or 90 days non-continuous duty in an operational area.

“I also received the Chief of the Defence Force’s Commendation Medal, awarded for planning and execution to establish exploration in Angola. The one medal I am the proudest of is the one I received for Bravery in 1981 - The Honoris Crux. I received this while working on Operation Protea (Operation Protea was a military operation during the South African Border War and Angolan Civil War).The decoration was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for bravery in dangerous circumstances 

What do you do in your spare time? “I try to play golf, my wife and I love camping! The best place to be is to camp in the middle of nowhere, sit on my chair with a glass of red wine.”

What are some of the interesting places where you have camped? “Mokala situated on the South-West of Kimberley and the Kgalagadi located within the Southern Kalahari Desert – I absolutely love this place.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Red wine and biltong.”

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “When I was a pupil pilot in 1973 the Chief Instructor told us: when in doubt there is no doubt. If you are in doubt don’t continue with your mission. One saying that I will always remember is: I would rather sit on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground.”

Any motto you live by? “Take life as it comes, day by day.”

What is the one thing you want to do when you retire? “Travel around South Africa with my wife. There is so much to see and explore in our country. Travelling teaches you to live in the moment.”

Amongst all Danie’s accolades the most recently accolade obtained is that of Grandpa! We trust your beautiful granddaughter will bring you lots of joy and happiness.

Meet our team ... Senior Fixed Wing Pilot
  • Danie Laubscher
  • Danie Laubscher

Meet our team ... Senior Fixed Wing Pilot

An individual with a wealth of knowledge, years of flying experience coupled with a streak of unpredictable adventure is exactly how to describe Danie Laubscher, Senior Fixed Wing Pilot based at the AMS’ Cape Town operation. Although Danie has been permanently employed since 2014, his involvement with the organisation dates back to 1998 while he was working for Swiss Air. Danie’s journey started with the AMS when he did the conversions of the AMS pilots when the organisation started operating the Pilatus PC 12 fixed wing aircraft. Danie was also involved with the Flying Doctor Service in KwaZulu-Natal before its official inception. He did the first flight with the management team from Durban International to Matatiele.

Among many of Danie’s interesting and memorable stories having the privilege of flying World Leaders and the King of Pop is definitely worth getting to know this pilot better. Danie had the privilege of flying Nelson Mandela and President Kagame (President of Rwanda) on a few occasions. He flew President Kagame for two years to Germany, England and America to mention a few destinations. In 1997 Danie also flew the King of Pop, Michael Jackson from the AMS Cape Town Base to Sun City.

Here’s a look into Danie’s life …

Where did you grow up: “I grew up in Nigeria and moved to Calvinia in the Northern Cape in South Africa at the age of 5 with my parents.”  

How did you get into aviation, is it something you always wanted to do: “My career in aviation started in 1973 with the Military.  After completing high school I decided I wanted to fly and at that time the only place I could do it was in the Military.  I initially joined the Military to fly helicopters but never got around to it.”

Tell us a little about your aviation career: “I left the Military in 1995 and joined Swiss Air based in Lanseria. I later joined Comair where I worked for the Commercial Airline Kulula. After two years I joined ExecuJet as Chief Pilot, I then went on to fly in Lagos in Nigeria for a few years before joining the AMS family. My full time appointment with AMS started in Durban, after a while I joined the Cape Town team where I am currently based.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “The people that I work with, I love the environment.”

Any special accolades obtained during your aviation career? “I received a few medals while I was in the Military. I received the PRO PATRIA MEDAL CUNENE for participation in Operation SAVANNAH in Angola.”  The following conditions were set out for the awarding of the medal: The recipients would have to have been involved in combat or a skirmish or combat situation or an incident caused by enemy activities, or have participated in a specific operation acknowledged by the Minister of Defence, or have served continuous period of 55 days or 90 days non-continuous duty in an operational area.

“I also received the Chief of the Defence Force’s Commendation Medal, awarded for planning and execution to establish exploration in Angola. The one medal I am the proudest of is the one I received for Bravery in 1981 - The Honoris Crux. I received this while working on Operation Protea (Operation Protea was a military operation during the South African Border War and Angolan Civil War).The decoration was awarded to members of the South African Defence Force for bravery in dangerous circumstances 

What do you do in your spare time? “I try to play golf, my wife and I love camping! The best place to be is to camp in the middle of nowhere, sit on my chair with a glass of red wine.”

What are some of the interesting places where you have camped? “Mokala situated on the South-West of Kimberley and the Kgalagadi located within the Southern Kalahari Desert – I absolutely love this place.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Red wine and biltong.”

What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “When I was a pupil pilot in 1973 the Chief Instructor told us: when in doubt there is no doubt. If you are in doubt don’t continue with your mission. One saying that I will always remember is: I would rather sit on the ground wishing I was in the air than in the air wishing I was on the ground.”

Any motto you live by? “Take life as it comes, day by day.”

What is the one thing you want to do when you retire? “Travel around South Africa with my wife. There is so much to see and explore in our country. Travelling teaches you to live in the moment.”

Amongst all Danie’s accolades the most recently accolade obtained is that of Grandpa! We trust your beautiful granddaughter will bring you lots of joy and happiness.

Nokuthula Mchunu
  • Nokuthula Mchunu

Staff focus - Flying Doctor Service

The AMS in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health provide delivery of appropriate and effective healthcare to rural communities by flying both specialists as well as healthcare support personnel – many of whom are volunteers - to outlying hospitals. This flagship programme called ‘The Flying Doctor Outreach Service’ provides specialist support to both district and secondary level hospitals in the outlying areas of KZN. This service started on the 1st of June 1998 and currently delivers specialist services to approximately 16 000 patients annually. The effective co-ordination and management of this programme is achieved through the tireless work of the various individuals in the ground team. Today we chat to Nokuthula Mchunu also known as Noks. Nokuthula has been with the AMS for seven years and fulfils the role of Flying Doctor Service Assistant. Her role involves looking after the Department and ensuring that this service runs smoothly.

Here’s a peep into her world …Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your background. “I was born in KZN in a small town called Empangeni. I come from a family of three children.  At the age of 5 my family moved to in a small township in Durban called Lamontville where I grew up.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “The experience I’ve gained and things I’ve learnt over the years makes me enjoy my job. I thoroughly enjoy working with the pilots – it really helps me learn so much about aviation. Working with the doctors on the outreach clinics helps me understand and appreciate the great work the doctors do out there.”   

What do you do in your spare time? “I read a lot, watch movies, listen to music and I love going out with friends and family.”

What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation? “The ability to cope and work under pressure, the ability to prioritise tasks, multitask and manage conflicting demands, work as part of a team, and be able work without supervision.” 

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “I see myself growing into a supervisor or manager where I will be able to use my skills to support others.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “When I woke up this morning I thanked God for giving me another chance in life, for me to experience His great love towards me and to enjoy His blessings.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Well, ice cream must be the number one indulgence, as a child I could eat a full cup and not feel sick afterwards. Second in line is definitely pizza oh and of course chocolate, every kind and flavour, as much as I can.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Rather struggle and work hard for everything you have than have someone tell me you wouldn’t have had that if it wasn’t for me.”

Any motto you live by? “Surround yourself with people that push you to be and do better.”

Staff focus - Flying Doctor Service
  • Nokuthula Mchunu

Staff focus - Flying Doctor Service

The AMS in partnership with the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health provide delivery of appropriate and effective healthcare to rural communities by flying both specialists as well as healthcare support personnel – many of whom are volunteers - to outlying hospitals. This flagship programme called ‘The Flying Doctor Outreach Service’ provides specialist support to both district and secondary level hospitals in the outlying areas of KZN. This service started on the 1st of June 1998 and currently delivers specialist services to approximately 16 000 patients annually. The effective co-ordination and management of this programme is achieved through the tireless work of the various individuals in the ground team. Today we chat to Nokuthula Mchunu also known as Noks. Nokuthula has been with the AMS for seven years and fulfils the role of Flying Doctor Service Assistant. Her role involves looking after the Department and ensuring that this service runs smoothly.

Here’s a peep into her world …Where did you grow up? Tell us a little about your background. “I was born in KZN in a small town called Empangeni. I come from a family of three children.  At the age of 5 my family moved to in a small township in Durban called Lamontville where I grew up.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “The experience I’ve gained and things I’ve learnt over the years makes me enjoy my job. I thoroughly enjoy working with the pilots – it really helps me learn so much about aviation. Working with the doctors on the outreach clinics helps me understand and appreciate the great work the doctors do out there.”   

What do you do in your spare time? “I read a lot, watch movies, listen to music and I love going out with friends and family.”

What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation? “The ability to cope and work under pressure, the ability to prioritise tasks, multitask and manage conflicting demands, work as part of a team, and be able work without supervision.” 

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “I see myself growing into a supervisor or manager where I will be able to use my skills to support others.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “When I woke up this morning I thanked God for giving me another chance in life, for me to experience His great love towards me and to enjoy His blessings.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Well, ice cream must be the number one indulgence, as a child I could eat a full cup and not feel sick afterwards. Second in line is definitely pizza oh and of course chocolate, every kind and flavour, as much as I can.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Rather struggle and work hard for everything you have than have someone tell me you wouldn’t have had that if it wasn’t for me.”

Any motto you live by? “Surround yourself with people that push you to be and do better.”

Meet our team ... he has been with the AMS for almost two decades

A progressive organisation with its roots entrenched to invest in the development of people is one of the descriptions that fits our organisation. Our staff member featured today is testimony to this, his role has evolved with time. Gary McCormick who fulfills the role of Quality Manager and Technical Support has been with the organisation just four years shy of two decades. Here’s a look into Gary’s world…

Tell us a little about your growth in the organisation/how did your career start in the aero-medical field? “My time in the aero-medical field started during my military conscription where I was fortunate to fulfill the non-combatant roles of an ICU medical orderly and aero-medical retrieval team member. This was where a good friend of mine introduced me to the course brochure for the National Diploma in Emergency Medical Care – which sold me on the diversity of this vocation from patient care, to vehicle extrication, mountain and sea rescue and of course the aero-medical environment to mention a few - and of course help people in need whilst learning how to do all of these activities. After qualifying I was employed in the then Natal Provincial Ambulance Service as a response paramedic and shortly afterwards another taste of the aero-medical field and got hooked when I realised that I could arrive at a patient’s side a lot quicker and with less adrenaline pumping through my body from the ground response, as well as the ability to literally extend my wings to reach those in need in remote environments. It wasn’t long before I moved to the Free State with a young family to pursue an aero-medical based career in a light helicopter and aeroplane service as well as the better remuneration package in a public-private venture linked to the highlands water scheme. After a few blessed years in the highlands, we decided after a springtime family holiday in the beautiful Cape, to transfer into the private aero-medical sector in Cape Town. It was here I learned about service coordination, international flights and managing a small team of co-workers. But it was not long before the “fickle nature” of private aero-medical services resulted in me jumping planes to another private service and then again into the welcoming arms of the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). I came into the AMS as a helicopter flight paramedic and over the years had the privilege of working with fantastic colleagues who valued the humanitarian principles of service delivery across the air ambulance health outreach and rescue domain. 
After a tragic event in our history, my career path changed direction into the developmental role of both professional and technical support, which meandered further into my current role of quality assurance and technical support. It has been an awesome journey so far…”

Describe what you currently do within the organisation: “To keep this brief… I research what our organisational regulations / standards of compliance are, then work together with my colleagues from all AMS departments, although mainly in operations, flight operations, maintenance and training, to establish the systems to ensure we comply with our regulatory requirements and deliver on our client / customer needs, all in support of patient care. The last component of my work is the measurement of our success through internal and external audits together with recommendations for continued improvement towards our organisational goals.”

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background: “I was raised, just on the east of Johannesburg (eGoli) by God fearing parents and survived my childhood both in-thanks to and yet also in-spite-of my two elder brothers. But I grew up to a large extent in the Boy Scout Movement and of course once I left home and ventured off to Durban by the sea to study. My growing up has been a lifelong process and I am sure I’ve still got a way to go…”

What do you do in your spare time? “Seriously, who has this…. between my loving gorgeous wife a full house of 3 children -24yr old daughter + boyfriend, 20year old son and 18yr old Matric daughter, 2 dogs, 7 cats (all my wife’s)… I have not had much spare time to enjoy life outside of work and parental duties…. I try to squeeze in some squash, time with friends, family and church…. but ‘our season’ is changing and my wife and I are looking forward to engaging with the outdoors again after some 25yrs (like a blink of the eye)!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “The end result of all our collective efforts…. making a positive difference in the lives of those we touch!”

What is on your bedside table? “My watch, cell phone - with a number of useful apps – Bible, calendar, weather, news, WhatsApp, email, etc.…, it’s been awhile since a novel has been there although I’m looking forward to that again… oh and my hay fever meds.”

What are your future plans? “To master my current space and then to look for new territory / challenges, along with a shift in my emphasis to spend time with loved ones…. maybe I’m getting old, not!”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What time is it…. trying to work late last night was a bad idea…”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Family…. and just perhaps more chocolate than exercise.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I’m really trying hard to be a better listener.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Know whose you are. Secondly that any job is really about working with people… Dr PE Erasmus (2001).”

Any motto you live by? “Do my best, to leave things better than how I found them!”

Meet our team ... he has been with the AMS for almost two decades

Meet our team ... he has been with the AMS for almost two decades

A progressive organisation with its roots entrenched to invest in the development of people is one of the descriptions that fits our organisation. Our staff member featured today is testimony to this, his role has evolved with time. Gary McCormick who fulfills the role of Quality Manager and Technical Support has been with the organisation just four years shy of two decades. Here’s a look into Gary’s world…

Tell us a little about your growth in the organisation/how did your career start in the aero-medical field? “My time in the aero-medical field started during my military conscription where I was fortunate to fulfill the non-combatant roles of an ICU medical orderly and aero-medical retrieval team member. This was where a good friend of mine introduced me to the course brochure for the National Diploma in Emergency Medical Care – which sold me on the diversity of this vocation from patient care, to vehicle extrication, mountain and sea rescue and of course the aero-medical environment to mention a few - and of course help people in need whilst learning how to do all of these activities. After qualifying I was employed in the then Natal Provincial Ambulance Service as a response paramedic and shortly afterwards another taste of the aero-medical field and got hooked when I realised that I could arrive at a patient’s side a lot quicker and with less adrenaline pumping through my body from the ground response, as well as the ability to literally extend my wings to reach those in need in remote environments. It wasn’t long before I moved to the Free State with a young family to pursue an aero-medical based career in a light helicopter and aeroplane service as well as the better remuneration package in a public-private venture linked to the highlands water scheme. After a few blessed years in the highlands, we decided after a springtime family holiday in the beautiful Cape, to transfer into the private aero-medical sector in Cape Town. It was here I learned about service coordination, international flights and managing a small team of co-workers. But it was not long before the “fickle nature” of private aero-medical services resulted in me jumping planes to another private service and then again into the welcoming arms of the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). I came into the AMS as a helicopter flight paramedic and over the years had the privilege of working with fantastic colleagues who valued the humanitarian principles of service delivery across the air ambulance health outreach and rescue domain. 
After a tragic event in our history, my career path changed direction into the developmental role of both professional and technical support, which meandered further into my current role of quality assurance and technical support. It has been an awesome journey so far…”

Describe what you currently do within the organisation: “To keep this brief… I research what our organisational regulations / standards of compliance are, then work together with my colleagues from all AMS departments, although mainly in operations, flight operations, maintenance and training, to establish the systems to ensure we comply with our regulatory requirements and deliver on our client / customer needs, all in support of patient care. The last component of my work is the measurement of our success through internal and external audits together with recommendations for continued improvement towards our organisational goals.”

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background: “I was raised, just on the east of Johannesburg (eGoli) by God fearing parents and survived my childhood both in-thanks to and yet also in-spite-of my two elder brothers. But I grew up to a large extent in the Boy Scout Movement and of course once I left home and ventured off to Durban by the sea to study. My growing up has been a lifelong process and I am sure I’ve still got a way to go…”

What do you do in your spare time? “Seriously, who has this…. between my loving gorgeous wife a full house of 3 children -24yr old daughter + boyfriend, 20year old son and 18yr old Matric daughter, 2 dogs, 7 cats (all my wife’s)… I have not had much spare time to enjoy life outside of work and parental duties…. I try to squeeze in some squash, time with friends, family and church…. but ‘our season’ is changing and my wife and I are looking forward to engaging with the outdoors again after some 25yrs (like a blink of the eye)!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “The end result of all our collective efforts…. making a positive difference in the lives of those we touch!”

What is on your bedside table? “My watch, cell phone - with a number of useful apps – Bible, calendar, weather, news, WhatsApp, email, etc.…, it’s been awhile since a novel has been there although I’m looking forward to that again… oh and my hay fever meds.”

What are your future plans? “To master my current space and then to look for new territory / challenges, along with a shift in my emphasis to spend time with loved ones…. maybe I’m getting old, not!”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “What time is it…. trying to work late last night was a bad idea…”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Family…. and just perhaps more chocolate than exercise.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I’m really trying hard to be a better listener.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Know whose you are. Secondly that any job is really about working with people… Dr PE Erasmus (2001).”

Any motto you live by? “Do my best, to leave things better than how I found them!”

Staff focus - ACSA 24 hour ground ambulance service

The AMS manage and oversee the critical ground ambulance and occupational health service of ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa) at the national key point situated at Cape Town International Airport. This service is provided to the airport users, ACSA employees, operators and sub-contractors in the airport precinct and surrounds. Today we chat to one of the crew working on the 24hour ground ambulance response unit … Bongani, affectionately known in our organisation as Bongs. Bongs fulfils the role of Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) on the ACSA Ambulance and has been with the organisation for four years. We got a little closer to Bongs and here’s what he had to say …

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background. “I was born in KwaZulu-Natal in a suburb called Ashdown, l come from a family of four children, two brothers and two sisters who are self-employed.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I love reading, I enjoy going to movies and spending some time in the gym. I also enjoy going to the beach.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy treating patients, the more critical patients you treat provides you with more experience.”

What kind of music do you like? “I like R&B and jazz.”

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

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “My greatest gift l ever received was a house from my brother.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “The best piece of advice I got was from my dad, he always said never bother yourself about things that you can never change. By doing so you will enjoy to be in this world.”

Any motto you live by? “Never stress yourself about people who do not add value in your life.”

 


 

Staff focus - ACSA 24 hour ground ambulance service

Staff focus - ACSA 24 hour ground ambulance service

The AMS manage and oversee the critical ground ambulance and occupational health service of ACSA (Airports Company of South Africa) at the national key point situated at Cape Town International Airport. This service is provided to the airport users, ACSA employees, operators and sub-contractors in the airport precinct and surrounds. Today we chat to one of the crew working on the 24hour ground ambulance response unit … Bongani, affectionately known in our organisation as Bongs. Bongs fulfils the role of Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) on the ACSA Ambulance and has been with the organisation for four years. We got a little closer to Bongs and here’s what he had to say …

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background. “I was born in KwaZulu-Natal in a suburb called Ashdown, l come from a family of four children, two brothers and two sisters who are self-employed.”

What do you do in your spare time? “I love reading, I enjoy going to movies and spending some time in the gym. I also enjoy going to the beach.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy treating patients, the more critical patients you treat provides you with more experience.”

What kind of music do you like? “I like R&B and jazz.”

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

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “My greatest gift l ever received was a house from my brother.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “The best piece of advice I got was from my dad, he always said never bother yourself about things that you can never change. By doing so you will enjoy to be in this world.”

Any motto you live by? “Never stress yourself about people who do not add value in your life.”

 


 

Meet the team ... visiting the National Operations Centre (NOC)

The ‘heartbeat’ of the AMS is its National Operations Centre (NOC). This department relies on a small dedicated team of flight co-ordinators & assistants to ensure delivery of the appropriate resource to any persons in need of specialised air ambulance and rescue assistance. The NOC is also the information centre of AMS and is responsible for collecting, recording and distributing information to AMS Management, our partners and clients. Today we touch base with one of the NOC assistants Blossom Dziba, who assists the NOC coordinators with flight following and flight coordination. Blossom grew up in Gugulethu (Cape Town) and has been with the organisation for 10 months, she completed her Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) and Basic Medical Rescue (BMR) courses. Blossom holds a National Certificate in communication. She is also a mother to two young vibrant boys. Let’s get to know Blossom a little better …

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy relaxing, watching movies and spending time with friends.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy communicating with new and different people – communicating with individuals in the EMS sector as well as other sectors.  It gives me peace of mind knowing that I have provided a service that saves people’s lives.”

What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation? “You must be a team player, a fast learner with good listening skills.”

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “I would like to travel and advance in my education that will allow me to better my career.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Pray to God that I am still alive and I have a job.”

What kind of music do you listen to?  “Mostly R&B and whatever is playing on the radio I enjoy.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love indulging in sweet chocolate cake!”

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “My friend’s husband gave me his brand new car to test drive and when my best friend gave me a Christmas card with beautiful encouraging words on it.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always stay true to yourself and be the best person you can be.”

Any motto you live by? “Treat people the same way as you would want to be treated.”

We hope you will grow within your position and in the organisation Blossom. May you continue to brighten the NOC with your infectious laughter.

Meet the team ... visiting the National Operations Centre (NOC)

Meet the team ... visiting the National Operations Centre (NOC)

The ‘heartbeat’ of the AMS is its National Operations Centre (NOC). This department relies on a small dedicated team of flight co-ordinators & assistants to ensure delivery of the appropriate resource to any persons in need of specialised air ambulance and rescue assistance. The NOC is also the information centre of AMS and is responsible for collecting, recording and distributing information to AMS Management, our partners and clients. Today we touch base with one of the NOC assistants Blossom Dziba, who assists the NOC coordinators with flight following and flight coordination. Blossom grew up in Gugulethu (Cape Town) and has been with the organisation for 10 months, she completed her Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) and Basic Medical Rescue (BMR) courses. Blossom holds a National Certificate in communication. She is also a mother to two young vibrant boys. Let’s get to know Blossom a little better …

What do you do in your spare time? “I enjoy relaxing, watching movies and spending time with friends.”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I enjoy communicating with new and different people – communicating with individuals in the EMS sector as well as other sectors.  It gives me peace of mind knowing that I have provided a service that saves people’s lives.”

What would you say are the key characteristics for a person to be able to fulfil the position you currently fulfil in the organisation? “You must be a team player, a fast learner with good listening skills.”

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “I would like to travel and advance in my education that will allow me to better my career.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Pray to God that I am still alive and I have a job.”

What kind of music do you listen to?  “Mostly R&B and whatever is playing on the radio I enjoy.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love indulging in sweet chocolate cake!”

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “My friend’s husband gave me his brand new car to test drive and when my best friend gave me a Christmas card with beautiful encouraging words on it.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Always stay true to yourself and be the best person you can be.”

Any motto you live by? “Treat people the same way as you would want to be treated.”

We hope you will grow within your position and in the organisation Blossom. May you continue to brighten the NOC with your infectious laughter.

Mervyn October
  • Mervyn October

Meet our team ... he looks after our aircraft

Diversity is definitely one word to describe the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). We offer a quality, value added service to the communities in which we operate, but this would definitely not be possible without our dynamic group of dedicated people working together to make this service what it is. One of the organisation’s critical departments is the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO). This Department’s responsibility is to maintain the AMS aircraft in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the Civil Aviation Authorities’ (CAA) Regulations. This team ensures that the aircraft is safe, serviceable and flying. Today we take a look inside Mervyn October’s world. Mervyn has been with the organisation for four years and is a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician. Mervyn fulfils one of the most important roles within the AMO and that is to keep the structure of the aircraft intact. Mervyn also tied the knot recently. We wish you and your family a happy married life Mervyn.

What is your role within the AMO? “I do a bit of everything. I am a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician – almost like an aircraft panel beater, it basically means looking after the air frame. I am also the AMO Safety officer. This provides a platform for the AMO crew to raise safety concerns in order for me to address it with the Safety Manager. I am also part of the AMO Apprenticeship programme in order to become an aircraft mechanic as a second trade to assist the engineers with daily aircraft maintenance.”

How did you get into this career?  “I am grateful for the opportunity I received at the previous company I used to work. My uncle also played a huge role in my career. Some days it was more difficult than others, as I was away from home, but I persevered and finished. Still today, I am thankful for the opportunities that comes my way, I always try to improve myself, my message to the youth is: if you want, you can, there will always be a way!”

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background: “I was born and bred in Ravensmead, Cape Town. As a youngster I enjoyed skateboarding, riding bicycle as far as Muizenberg and many days riding my bicycles past school! I had fun growing up as a child, I am the oldest of three”.

What do you do in your spare time? “If I could I would just relax. My spare time is usually spent working on cars. I would love to spend it with my kids -when I have time I spend it with them.”

 

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love everything about it. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

 

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “In the organisation: to become an Aircraft Mechanical Technician and to grow in the field of Safety Management.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “It is nice to have my kids and family with me.”

What kind of music do you like? “I don’t have a specific type that I like, I listen to whatever makes me feel good at that moment. I do however love Hillsongs.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “Definitely my tracksuit pants. My favourite item is my green Lacoste sweater my wife bought me.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Pork rashers, skilpadjies (Is a traditional South African food. The dish is lamb's liver wrapped in netvet - caul fat) and a green salad.

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “Must be my kids.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Don’t leave what you can do today for tomorrow. Famous words by AMO manager, Marc Lawson.”

Any motto you live by? “Live each day for today” be happy, spread love every day.”

Any exotic places you travelled to: “My most recent travels took me to Pakistan. although it was work related I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I fell in love with the place, its people and definitely their food. You get served the most delicious Biryani (a mixed rice dish). My views of Pakistan is definitely not what is being portrayed in the media, this is a place I will definitely visit again.”

Meet our team ... he looks after our aircraft
  • Mervyn October

Meet our team ... he looks after our aircraft

Diversity is definitely one word to describe the SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service (AMS). We offer a quality, value added service to the communities in which we operate, but this would definitely not be possible without our dynamic group of dedicated people working together to make this service what it is. One of the organisation’s critical departments is the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO). This Department’s responsibility is to maintain the AMS aircraft in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the Civil Aviation Authorities’ (CAA) Regulations. This team ensures that the aircraft is safe, serviceable and flying. Today we take a look inside Mervyn October’s world. Mervyn has been with the organisation for four years and is a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician. Mervyn fulfils one of the most important roles within the AMO and that is to keep the structure of the aircraft intact. Mervyn also tied the knot recently. We wish you and your family a happy married life Mervyn.

What is your role within the AMO? “I do a bit of everything. I am a Qualified Aircraft Structural Technician – almost like an aircraft panel beater, it basically means looking after the air frame. I am also the AMO Safety officer. This provides a platform for the AMO crew to raise safety concerns in order for me to address it with the Safety Manager. I am also part of the AMO Apprenticeship programme in order to become an aircraft mechanic as a second trade to assist the engineers with daily aircraft maintenance.”

How did you get into this career?  “I am grateful for the opportunity I received at the previous company I used to work. My uncle also played a huge role in my career. Some days it was more difficult than others, as I was away from home, but I persevered and finished. Still today, I am thankful for the opportunities that comes my way, I always try to improve myself, my message to the youth is: if you want, you can, there will always be a way!”

Where did you grow up, tell us a little about your background: “I was born and bred in Ravensmead, Cape Town. As a youngster I enjoyed skateboarding, riding bicycle as far as Muizenberg and many days riding my bicycles past school! I had fun growing up as a child, I am the oldest of three”.

What do you do in your spare time? “If I could I would just relax. My spare time is usually spent working on cars. I would love to spend it with my kids -when I have time I spend it with them.”

 

What do you enjoy most about your job? “I love everything about it. I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

 

What is your future plans/your dreams/ambitions, where do you see yourself in the future? “In the organisation: to become an Aircraft Mechanical Technician and to grow in the field of Safety Management.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “It is nice to have my kids and family with me.”

What kind of music do you like? “I don’t have a specific type that I like, I listen to whatever makes me feel good at that moment. I do however love Hillsongs.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “Definitely my tracksuit pants. My favourite item is my green Lacoste sweater my wife bought me.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “Pork rashers, skilpadjies (Is a traditional South African food. The dish is lamb's liver wrapped in netvet - caul fat) and a green salad.

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “Must be my kids.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Don’t leave what you can do today for tomorrow. Famous words by AMO manager, Marc Lawson.”

Any motto you live by? “Live each day for today” be happy, spread love every day.”

Any exotic places you travelled to: “My most recent travels took me to Pakistan. although it was work related I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I fell in love with the place, its people and definitely their food. You get served the most delicious Biryani (a mixed rice dish). My views of Pakistan is definitely not what is being portrayed in the media, this is a place I will definitely visit again.”

Home is ...

Home is where the heart is, home is where you will always have a place, where you will always feel loved and where you will never be alone. We all have our own definitions and feelings of home. For Nadine Wabanie, home was where she received the necessary expert medical care, love and nurturing for the last three months. Home was the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. On the 26th of June 2016 (then 10 months old), Nadine was airlifted from George Provincial Hospital with the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS emergency fixed wing aircraft to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she suffered severe burns. Today one year old Nadine returns home to Plettenberg Bay after her long journey to recovery in hospital.

This day truly marks a joyous occasion in Nadine and her mom’s life. A few months back her journey to Cape Town started by being intubated and ventilated. Today she returns back home with the fixed wing aircraft with a smile after being discharged from hospital. There is still a long journey ahead for Nadine and her mom. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, we wish them all the best on their journey of recovery. The medical crew (and one of the pilots) who looked after Nadine on her way to Cape Town in June is the same crew she is flying with today. Nadine thank you for brightening our day with your sweet little smile and small steps.

Fixed wing crew for the day: Captain: Euston del Carme, Cadet Pilot Jeffrey Persens, AMS medics Jo Park-Ross & Ayesha Allies.

Home is ...

Home is ...

Home is where the heart is, home is where you will always have a place, where you will always feel loved and where you will never be alone. We all have our own definitions and feelings of home. For Nadine Wabanie, home was where she received the necessary expert medical care, love and nurturing for the last three months. Home was the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital. On the 26th of June 2016 (then 10 months old), Nadine was airlifted from George Provincial Hospital with the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS emergency fixed wing aircraft to Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital after she suffered severe burns. Today one year old Nadine returns home to Plettenberg Bay after her long journey to recovery in hospital.

This day truly marks a joyous occasion in Nadine and her mom’s life. A few months back her journey to Cape Town started by being intubated and ventilated. Today she returns back home with the fixed wing aircraft with a smile after being discharged from hospital. There is still a long journey ahead for Nadine and her mom. Our thoughts and prayers are with them, we wish them all the best on their journey of recovery. The medical crew (and one of the pilots) who looked after Nadine on her way to Cape Town in June is the same crew she is flying with today. Nadine thank you for brightening our day with your sweet little smile and small steps.

Fixed wing crew for the day: Captain: Euston del Carme, Cadet Pilot Jeffrey Persens, AMS medics Jo Park-Ross & Ayesha Allies.

Teddy Prusent
  • Teddy Prusent

Meet our team ... Teddy Prusent

The AMS base located at the Civil Airfield in Polokwane provides an aero-medical emergency air ambulance service with a Eurocopter EC 130 B4 single engine helicopter. The team members that form part of this base are dynamic and hardworking individuals. Today we introduce you to one of our Emergency Care Practitioners, Teddy Prusent. Originally from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape known as The Rose Capital of South Africa so nicknamed - due to its large gardens and open places for flowers (especially roses) in and around town. Teddy completed his B -Tech degree in Emergency Medical Care at the University of Johannesburg and has been part of the AMS family for three years.

Let’s get a little close with Teddy …

How did you get into EMS? Is it something you always wanted to do?  “Working in the EMS environment was a second option for me, the initial plan was to go to med school.”

What do you do in your spare time?  “I try to keep the mind fresh, I enjoy working out and I have A mad love for the kitchen, I love food. I enjoy being out and about in nature. I love listening to up-beat music, it puts a smile on my face!”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “The most satisfying thing about my job is being able to make a lasting difference in a patient’s life, watching them improving and knowing that you had a hand in their healing.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “The first thing that pops into my head when I wake up is to give thanks to the One above that I am alive and well.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I procrastinate … like a lot! I don't like it but I’m working AT getting out of this habit.” 

What should everyone try at least once in their life? “I recently went sky-diving, craziest thing I've done to date! It was so AWESOME! I want to do it again, I think everyone should give it a try.”

What brings you THE greatest satisfaction? “Making someone’s day, watching their face light up, that's the best.”

What is on your bucket list? “Some of the things I want to tick off before I check out includes: running the comrades, bungee jumping and I also want to see the Great Wall of China.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “I have an insane love for leather so I try to wear my leather jackets whenever I can but it doesn't always happen due to the Limpopo heat.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love good, tasty food. Any cuisine I'm not fussy - I'll eat it but my favourite would have to be Indian cuisine.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? "Always be yourself, advice from my grandmother.”

What is the one thing you wish you know when you were younger? “The value of hard work. I have been told this while growing up but never really took it to heart. I wish I had, life would so be different.”

Any motto you live by? “Be happy ALWAYS. I learnt that from a book called The Secret. I took that to heart and have never looked back.”

In the near future Teddy wants to study something completely out of his current field of practice, culinary school is definitely on the cards! We hope to eat some of your exquisite dishes soon Teddy!!

 

Meet our team ... Teddy Prusent
  • Teddy Prusent

Meet our team ... Teddy Prusent

The AMS base located at the Civil Airfield in Polokwane provides an aero-medical emergency air ambulance service with a Eurocopter EC 130 B4 single engine helicopter. The team members that form part of this base are dynamic and hardworking individuals. Today we introduce you to one of our Emergency Care Practitioners, Teddy Prusent. Originally from Queenstown in the Eastern Cape known as The Rose Capital of South Africa so nicknamed - due to its large gardens and open places for flowers (especially roses) in and around town. Teddy completed his B -Tech degree in Emergency Medical Care at the University of Johannesburg and has been part of the AMS family for three years.

Let’s get a little close with Teddy …

How did you get into EMS? Is it something you always wanted to do?  “Working in the EMS environment was a second option for me, the initial plan was to go to med school.”

What do you do in your spare time?  “I try to keep the mind fresh, I enjoy working out and I have A mad love for the kitchen, I love food. I enjoy being out and about in nature. I love listening to up-beat music, it puts a smile on my face!”

What do you enjoy most about your job?  “The most satisfying thing about my job is being able to make a lasting difference in a patient’s life, watching them improving and knowing that you had a hand in their healing.”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “The first thing that pops into my head when I wake up is to give thanks to the One above that I am alive and well.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I procrastinate … like a lot! I don't like it but I’m working AT getting out of this habit.” 

What should everyone try at least once in their life? “I recently went sky-diving, craziest thing I've done to date! It was so AWESOME! I want to do it again, I think everyone should give it a try.”

What brings you THE greatest satisfaction? “Making someone’s day, watching their face light up, that's the best.”

What is on your bucket list? “Some of the things I want to tick off before I check out includes: running the comrades, bungee jumping and I also want to see the Great Wall of China.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “I have an insane love for leather so I try to wear my leather jackets whenever I can but it doesn't always happen due to the Limpopo heat.”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I love good, tasty food. Any cuisine I'm not fussy - I'll eat it but my favourite would have to be Indian cuisine.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? "Always be yourself, advice from my grandmother.”

What is the one thing you wish you know when you were younger? “The value of hard work. I have been told this while growing up but never really took it to heart. I wish I had, life would so be different.”

Any motto you live by? “Be happy ALWAYS. I learnt that from a book called The Secret. I took that to heart and have never looked back.”

In the near future Teddy wants to study something completely out of his current field of practice, culinary school is definitely on the cards! We hope to eat some of your exquisite dishes soon Teddy!!

 

A team member with a sense of humour ...

They say people with a good sense of humour has a better life, this description definitely fits our sporty, outgoing and beautiful soul female Rotor Wing Pilot -  Kim Watchurst, based at the AMS Durban Base.  Born and raised in Gauteng, Kim completed her B.Com Honours degree at the University of Witwatersrand,“work somehow slid into being a professional triathlete for 5 years”! Kim ran her own events company while studying to become a helicopter pilot. After meeting her husband, she moved to Durban and managed a helicopter training school at Virginia Airport before joining AMS. Kim has been with the organisation for almost four years, here’s what she had to say when we entered her world …

How did you get into aviation? Is it something you always wanted to do? “Absolutely, although the opportunity did not present itself until quite a bit later in life.”What do you do in your spare time? “I love my sport; anything goes. Oh, and Malcolm, our paramedic, recently got me hooked on Sons of Anarchy. I have been led astray watching that. I was weaned off Dexter, the serial killer. My therapist says I am showing great signs of improvement.”

Any hobbies? “Cappuccino and smoothie…please define hobby?”

What is on your bedside table? “Readers Digest, two magazines and recently purchased reading glasses. Apparently you start going blind at 45. Psych!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Posing for photos at the hospitals”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Yeah, it’s Friday and damn, best I get that questionnaire for Venessa done by 9am.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I never ate chocolate as a kid so I thought it a good habit to break. I have my rules though: dark chocolate and preferable, but not a rigid rule: chocolate to be eaten first thing in the morning so that I have the whole day to burn it off.”

What is your favourite word?  “Funny you ask that. My varsity mate used to hear a word and say, “hasn’t that word got a lovely warmth or punch to it”. Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind, but she made me more ‘wordly’. Her folks were actors (nope, not two dads, her mum was an actress…almost had you there!) and she is an English teacher so words were BIG. Anyway I hear words now and think, mmmm, cool word.  Least favourite word? I think those are censored.

What should everyone try at least once in their life? “Your choice of ice cream, with a sprinkling of coffee, nuts, ice cap and then drizzle a good portion of milk over the top. Apparently endorsed by Tim Noakes and Weight Watchers – NOT!”

What brings you greatest satisfaction? “A mix of my family, friends, my sport and my work. Peace and Happiness in the words of John Lennon whilst wearing bell bottom pants, a floral shirt and tea-shade glasses.”

What is on your bucket list? “Travelling to some amazing places around the world. Maybe a motorbike trip around South America (specifically Chile), Vietnam, Greece and so the list continues. If that option doesn’t play out, a body surf at North Beach, followed by a Boxmaster Zinger combo from KFC.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “My flight suit, socks and boots. We have been short staffed”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I am spoilt for choice on this question. A good meal with good company and a good glass of red wine and definitely what we

invest in our sport.”

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “Kindness. A Lamborghini, preferable red or white, would have been nice too.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Advice given is always appropriate to the issue at hand: 1) Slowly, slowly catch the monkey. 2) This too shall pass. 3) Be the best person you can be.”

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? Only one thing, flip I have a list…”Love thy neighbour”…man he was gorgeous. Just kidding. Seriously, “patience and to slow down on chasing life”.

Any motto you live by? “Enjoy your day.”

Thanks for allowing us into your world Kim, continue to do what makes your soul shine!

A team member with a sense of humour ...

A team member with a sense of humour ...

They say people with a good sense of humour has a better life, this description definitely fits our sporty, outgoing and beautiful soul female Rotor Wing Pilot -  Kim Watchurst, based at the AMS Durban Base.  Born and raised in Gauteng, Kim completed her B.Com Honours degree at the University of Witwatersrand,“work somehow slid into being a professional triathlete for 5 years”! Kim ran her own events company while studying to become a helicopter pilot. After meeting her husband, she moved to Durban and managed a helicopter training school at Virginia Airport before joining AMS. Kim has been with the organisation for almost four years, here’s what she had to say when we entered her world …

How did you get into aviation? Is it something you always wanted to do? “Absolutely, although the opportunity did not present itself until quite a bit later in life.”What do you do in your spare time? “I love my sport; anything goes. Oh, and Malcolm, our paramedic, recently got me hooked on Sons of Anarchy. I have been led astray watching that. I was weaned off Dexter, the serial killer. My therapist says I am showing great signs of improvement.”

Any hobbies? “Cappuccino and smoothie…please define hobby?”

What is on your bedside table? “Readers Digest, two magazines and recently purchased reading glasses. Apparently you start going blind at 45. Psych!”

What do you enjoy most about your job? “Posing for photos at the hospitals”

What was your first thought when you woke up this morning? “Yeah, it’s Friday and damn, best I get that questionnaire for Venessa done by 9am.”

What is the habit you are proudest of breaking or want to break? “I never ate chocolate as a kid so I thought it a good habit to break. I have my rules though: dark chocolate and preferable, but not a rigid rule: chocolate to be eaten first thing in the morning so that I have the whole day to burn it off.”

What is your favourite word?  “Funny you ask that. My varsity mate used to hear a word and say, “hasn’t that word got a lovely warmth or punch to it”. Honestly, it hadn’t crossed my mind, but she made me more ‘wordly’. Her folks were actors (nope, not two dads, her mum was an actress…almost had you there!) and she is an English teacher so words were BIG. Anyway I hear words now and think, mmmm, cool word.  Least favourite word? I think those are censored.

What should everyone try at least once in their life? “Your choice of ice cream, with a sprinkling of coffee, nuts, ice cap and then drizzle a good portion of milk over the top. Apparently endorsed by Tim Noakes and Weight Watchers – NOT!”

What brings you greatest satisfaction? “A mix of my family, friends, my sport and my work. Peace and Happiness in the words of John Lennon whilst wearing bell bottom pants, a floral shirt and tea-shade glasses.”

What is on your bucket list? “Travelling to some amazing places around the world. Maybe a motorbike trip around South America (specifically Chile), Vietnam, Greece and so the list continues. If that option doesn’t play out, a body surf at North Beach, followed by a Boxmaster Zinger combo from KFC.”

What item in your closet do you wear the most? “My flight suit, socks and boots. We have been short staffed”

What is your greatest indulgence? “I am spoilt for choice on this question. A good meal with good company and a good glass of red wine and definitely what we

invest in our sport.”

What is the best gift anyone has ever given you? “Kindness. A Lamborghini, preferable red or white, would have been nice too.”

Best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? “Advice given is always appropriate to the issue at hand: 1) Slowly, slowly catch the monkey. 2) This too shall pass. 3) Be the best person you can be.”

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you were younger? Only one thing, flip I have a list…”Love thy neighbour”…man he was gorgeous. Just kidding. Seriously, “patience and to slow down on chasing life”.

Any motto you live by? “Enjoy your day.”

Thanks for allowing us into your world Kim, continue to do what makes your soul shine!

Werner Venter
  • Werner Venter

Meet the Chief Commander of the Northern Region ...

Our team member of today is based in the Province known as “Place of Safety”, a Province positioned on the Tropic of Capricorn.   A city that is considered the premier hunting destination in South Africa. In the North lies the beautiful city of Polokwane (capital of the Limpopo Province).

Our team member “Chief Commander of the Northern Region”, is one of our Rotor Wing Pilots, Captain Werner Venter. Werner has been with the AMS for almost six years. Werner grew up in the Free State on a farm in the Virginia area. He completed his high school career in Bloemfontein and moved to Pretoria after completing grade 12. Werner studied at the University of Pretoria, after which he started to pursue his flying career. He has been residing in Polokwane for the past six years and shares his life with his beautiful wife Mari and three wonderful children Brenten, Alyssa and Bismarck.

We got a little close to Werner to find out what’s happening in his world, here’s what he had to say…

What do you enjoy most about your job? “When I started flying my goal was to move into the aero-medical environment, the enjoyment of flying is one thing, but to do what I love (flying) and be able to help people in life threatening situations is another. To see someone walk away from such a situation and live the rest of his life normally, is the most enjoyable part of what we do. It means we were successful in our mission.”

Why the career choice? “I think at some stage in any young boy’s life, he wants to become one of three things, a fireman, a pilot or a soldier. My father’s love for aviation and all things flying rubbed off on me. I always wanted to become a pilot. It is one of the most challenging careers and it brings a lot of life’s most important aspects together, respect, discipline and ambition and that’s why I love this career.”

Have you had any other occupation other than that of a pilot? “I have had a couple of odd jobs before my flying career kicked off, as a student I worked in a liquor store and after that as a marketing manager in a hotel, but this was just the road leading to where I am now.”

Who or what occupies your spare time: “My spare time belongs to my kids and wife, whatever the kids want to do, that’s what my spare time consists of, it’s a blessing being able to spend time together.  Brenten loves shooting, Alyssa obviously shopping (definitely like her motherJ) and Bismarck being the youngest likes tagging along.”

What is on your bedside table? “On my bedside table you will find anything you need to survive! My Bible, some kids toys, fever and pain medicine (for the kids during the night), a bottle of water to mention a few J.”

Anything else you think we should know about you? “I love exercising! You will find me in gym every morning.  I like jogging and also recently started to pick up on my golf again. I am a firm believer that if it is in your hands to let the sun shine for someone else, you have to do just that. This goes hand in hand with what we do in our careers here, there is something special about helping others, it always pays off in some way or another and personally gives me a very blessed and satisfying feeling - I think this sums me up as a person”.

What is a typical day like in the life of a pilot? “Get up, get coffee, do pre-flight and WAIT! (chuckle!)  In our line of work there is no room for errors, so in a typical day we will make sure the helicopter is serviceable and our working environment is clean and sterile. We make sure paper work is up to date, safety checks are done before the work starts (going on missions).

What motivates you /do you have a personal motto? “My motivation is definitely my wife and kids. I am so blessed to have a wife that supports me in my career and stands by me all the way. My life’s motto: just enjoy the time you have and live life to the fullest, because you never know when it’s done.  In our line of work we are witnesses to this every day of our lives. So enjoy every moment.    

What do you enjoy most about being a pilot? “Being a pilot is like living my dream, just being up there is so fulfilling. It is flying as a whole that is satisfying - there is not a single thing that stands out, for me it is the complete experience -  from pre-flight to landing and shutting down, very special indeed.”

What do you enjoy most about working at AMS? “AMS as a unit is very special! The people we work with, struggling, fighting, training, dedication, late nights and all that goes with it, to ensure that at the end of the day, we are able to save someone’s life, this just tells you that AMS really cares about people. We have a very special group of people from the CEO down to the last person in AMS, everyone is dedicated to do one thing, Saving Lives, Changing Lives. For me there is no career more fulfilling than what we do. I am truly blessed to be part of the AMS family.”

Thank you for your unwavering commitment Werner! Thank you for allowing us into your world!

  

  

Meet the Chief Commander of the Northern Region ...
  • Werner Venter

Meet the Chief Commander of the Northern Region ...

Our team member of today is based in the Province known as “Place of Safety”, a Province positioned on the Tropic of Capricorn.   A city that is considered the premier hunting destination in South Africa. In the North lies the beautiful city of Polokwane (capital of the Limpopo Province).

Our team member “Chief Commander of the Northern Region”, is one of our Rotor Wing Pilots, Captain Werner Venter. Werner has been with the AMS for almost six years. Werner grew up in the Free State on a farm in the Virginia area. He completed his high school career in Bloemfontein and moved to Pretoria after completing grade 12. Werner studied at the University of Pretoria, after which he started to pursue his flying career. He has been residing in Polokwane for the past six years and shares his life with his beautiful wife Mari and three wonderful children Brenten, Alyssa and Bismarck.

We got a little close to Werner to find out what’s happening in his world, here’s what he had to say…

What do you enjoy most about your job? “When I started flying my goal was to move into the aero-medical environment, the enjoyment of flying is one thing, but to do what I love (flying) and be able to help people in life threatening situations is another. To see someone walk away from such a situation and live the rest of his life normally, is the most enjoyable part of what we do. It means we were successful in our mission.”

Why the career choice? “I think at some stage in any young boy’s life, he wants to become one of three things, a fireman, a pilot or a soldier. My father’s love for aviation and all things flying rubbed off on me. I always wanted to become a pilot. It is one of the most challenging careers and it brings a lot of life’s most important aspects together, respect, discipline and ambition and that’s why I love this career.”

Have you had any other occupation other than that of a pilot? “I have had a couple of odd jobs before my flying career kicked off, as a student I worked in a liquor store and after that as a marketing manager in a hotel, but this was just the road leading to where I am now.”

Who or what occupies your spare time: “My spare time belongs to my kids and wife, whatever the kids want to do, that’s what my spare time consists of, it’s a blessing being able to spend time together.  Brenten loves shooting, Alyssa obviously shopping (definitely like her motherJ) and Bismarck being the youngest likes tagging along.”

What is on your bedside table? “On my bedside table you will find anything you need to survive! My Bible, some kids toys, fever and pain medicine (for the kids during the night), a bottle of water to mention a few J.”

Anything else you think we should know about you? “I love exercising! You will find me in gym every morning.  I like jogging and also recently started to pick up on my golf again. I am a firm believer that if it is in your hands to let the sun shine for someone else, you have to do just that. This goes hand in hand with what we do in our careers here, there is something special about helping others, it always pays off in some way or another and personally gives me a very blessed and satisfying feeling - I think this sums me up as a person”.

What is a typical day like in the life of a pilot? “Get up, get coffee, do pre-flight and WAIT! (chuckle!)  In our line of work there is no room for errors, so in a typical day we will make sure the helicopter is serviceable and our working environment is clean and sterile. We make sure paper work is up to date, safety checks are done before the work starts (going on missions).

What motivates you /do you have a personal motto? “My motivation is definitely my wife and kids. I am so blessed to have a wife that supports me in my career and stands by me all the way. My life’s motto: just enjoy the time you have and live life to the fullest, because you never know when it’s done.  In our line of work we are witnesses to this every day of our lives. So enjoy every moment.    

What do you enjoy most about being a pilot? “Being a pilot is like living my dream, just being up there is so fulfilling. It is flying as a whole that is satisfying - there is not a single thing that stands out, for me it is the complete experience -  from pre-flight to landing and shutting down, very special indeed.”

What do you enjoy most about working at AMS? “AMS as a unit is very special! The people we work with, struggling, fighting, training, dedication, late nights and all that goes with it, to ensure that at the end of the day, we are able to save someone’s life, this just tells you that AMS really cares about people. We have a very special group of people from the CEO down to the last person in AMS, everyone is dedicated to do one thing, Saving Lives, Changing Lives. For me there is no career more fulfilling than what we do. I am truly blessed to be part of the AMS family.”

Thank you for your unwavering commitment Werner! Thank you for allowing us into your world!

  

  

Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay

Family rescued from raging fire in Plettenberg Bay

The Oudtshoorn Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter was dispatched on the morning of the 31st of August to assist with the evacuation of a family caught in raging fires that erupted in Plettenberg Bay. The initial call for assistance was raised on the evening of the 30th August 2016 for a family who had been stranded in their home due to a mountain fire encroaching on their property. Unfortunately, no help could reach them by road because of the way the fires were burning and spreading. Rotor wing assistance could not be activated because it was night time, coupled, with the dangerous terrain. It was confirmed by the Metro Eden Rescue Manager that the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter would attempt the rescue at first light the next day.

The Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter was dispatched at first light at 06:20, and proceeded to the staging area in the Craggs area of Plettenberg Bay.

The situation which had grown to include another family who were seeking refuge at the initial victim's home after they had to abandon their property. The crew now had nine people to evacuate, two of whom were children as well as two family dogs and a cat.

The people and pets were evacuated via the rescue hoist. The civilians safety was ensured and the mission went without incident. Working on Fire initiated firebombing in the now hugely affected area to quell the raging fire and with the airspace saturated with aircraft the pilot and the crews situational awareness was on high alert.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the fire.

Crew: Captain Graham Archibald, External Load Operator (ELO) Theo Schilder, Drew Scott (MCSA) and members of the METRO Eden Rescue District.

 

Family rescued from raging fire in Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay
  • Family rescued from raging fire Plettenberg Bay

Family rescued from raging fire in Plettenberg Bay

The Oudtshoorn Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter was dispatched on the morning of the 31st of August to assist with the evacuation of a family caught in raging fires that erupted in Plettenberg Bay. The initial call for assistance was raised on the evening of the 30th August 2016 for a family who had been stranded in their home due to a mountain fire encroaching on their property. Unfortunately, no help could reach them by road because of the way the fires were burning and spreading. Rotor wing assistance could not be activated because it was night time, coupled, with the dangerous terrain. It was confirmed by the Metro Eden Rescue Manager that the Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter would attempt the rescue at first light the next day.

The Western Cape Department of Health EMS/AMS rescue helicopter was dispatched at first light at 06:20, and proceeded to the staging area in the Craggs area of Plettenberg Bay.

The situation which had grown to include another family who were seeking refuge at the initial victim's home after they had to abandon their property. The crew now had nine people to evacuate, two of whom were children as well as two family dogs and a cat.

The people and pets were evacuated via the rescue hoist. The civilians safety was ensured and the mission went without incident. Working on Fire initiated firebombing in the now hugely affected area to quell the raging fire and with the airspace saturated with aircraft the pilot and the crews situational awareness was on high alert.

Our thoughts are with those affected by the fire.

Crew: Captain Graham Archibald, External Load Operator (ELO) Theo Schilder, Drew Scott (MCSA) and members of the METRO Eden Rescue District.