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Medicopter HEMS


Rotor Wing (HEMS)

ER24 is proud to provide realhelprealfast at a whole new level that promises to deliver fast, effective and efficient emergency medical care.

ER24 and Discovery partnered in 2009 to cater for a need that is much lacking in South Africa. Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS) is essential in South Africa to cater for the vast amount of serious emergency situations South Africans face every day.

In order to provide realhelprealfast, ER24 and Discovery joined forces to develop the ER24 Discovery Medicopter to improve our services to our client base

Why We Fly Patients

If one looks at the global focussed approach to a patient involved in an emergency, it requires them to have access to focussed care both rapidly and immediately, that is, with the least number of delays and detours along the way.

Countless studies have been conducted to determine helicopter efficacy, cost versus effectiveness, appropriateness and safety in the medical sector. Few are applicable to the South African Environment.

The philosophy of this is to provide a core understanding of why we fly patients in order to achieve the best outcomes for the patient with rapid definitive care, and access to the most appropriate receiving facility, thereby:

  • reducing in-hospital time, 
  • reducing time in theatre, ICU time
  • reducing risks of infection and their consequences, 
  • reducing time to rehabilitation, 
  • reducing disability 
  • reducing costs to the government and funders.
  • Most importantly, improving prognosis by referral to appropriate Definitive Care Centre of excellence

Rotor Wing Operations

Our rotor wing service provides a day light (12 hour) service to both the Gauteng, Cape Town and surrounding Provinces, it is staffed with two flight paramedics and a pilot. Our pilots are highly experienced in EMS helicopter operations, ensuring safe transportation of our flight crew and clients. 

We also transport specialised staff (surgical, emergency medicine, respiratory therapy, paediatric, neonatal, obstetric, and specialized nursing staff) who may assist with stabilising patients in need of special care in mass casualties.

Our helicopters are equipped with the latest Advanced Life Support (ALS) equipment and supplies including: 

  • Heart monitor/defibrillator/pacemaker, 
  • Intravenous fluids and medications,
  • Infusion pumps
  • Advanced airway management capabilities, 
  • On-board multi-parameter ventilator for adults,
  • Incubator with Babe ventilator,
  • Vacuum mattress just to name a few

We are fully equip to handle any type of emergency from the primary call up to a neonatal inter hospital transfer, 

All our equipment is certified by the manufacturer as being fit for use on an aircraft and has been certified by the SACAA for use.

Call Out Criteria

The choice of transport by helicopter depends on factors such as urgency of the condition, mobilization time, distance or time to destination, weather, traffic conditions, location , and cost.

ER 24 outlines specific call out criteria for the dispatched of our Medicopters to any emergency and or inter hospital transfer to transport patients from the scene of an emergency or hospital. 

In an effort to ensure that patients meet this criteria and are transported to an appropriate receiving facility, all incoming calls regarding the emergency or transfer will go directly via the dedicated telephone number to our flight desk.





Primary emergency helicopter activation is the responsibility of the ER24 Emergency Contact Centre with the assistance of the ER24 Chief Medical Officer . Patient management and patient destination decisions are the responsibility of the flight and medical crew and is referenced via the dispatcher.


Inter-hospital transfer activation is the responsibility of the ER24 Chief Medical Officer and the requesting medical personnel.  Patient management is the responsibility of the medical crew and patient destination is the responsibility of the requesting medical personnel.


Other activation categories that may be requested will need approval from ER24 management team prior to the event. These activations may include promotion and community awareness as well as event support.

For more information email the Medicopter Team

Download the HEMS Safety Poster (3MB)

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