On Friday a joint exercise was held at the SAP air wing in Durban to update all the roll players and keep their skill level up to date when hoisting patients using the helicopter. At 08h30 the sap search and rescue, Netcare paramedics , the students from the DUT and other services that work hand in hand on a regular bases to save the lives of patients that had been critically injured.
Under the leadership of the Pilot , engineer, search and rescue and the Netcare rescue officer the personnel went through a briefing of the helicopter and a safety lecture before they were taught how to strap a patient into a ‘ stokes basket ‘ and securing it with the rescuer to the hoist of the helicopter.
After two hours of theory and practice they were taken out to practice the real thing, a patient was hoisted up to the helicopter with the rescuer- paramedic and the flown to an area simulating a safe area where they were then lowered to the ground so that the medics could transport them to hospital . A highlight was when the dog handler and his dog was hoisted up and flown around before being lowered to the ground again, to see the professional and skill from all the units especially the pilot and his engineer was fantastic and re-assuring.