Awareness and First Aid

You can rely on ER24’s emergency medical response teams to provide real help, real fast in any medical emergency. Here’s how you can do your part to ensure the quickest, most efficient response.

What to expect from ER24’s emergency resources

When you phone 084 124, a trained emergency resource officer (ERO) will immediately take your call, assures Sonja Tonkin, Clinical Care Coordinator for ER24. “We want to get the most appropriate medical help to you as quickly and efficiently as possible, so it helps if you remain calm and focused when giving the necessary details. It may be difficult to control your emotions but try to speak calmly and clearly. Explain in detail what you see. For instance, is the person breathing? Is the patient awake? Is the accident scene safe to approach?”

If possible, give information about the patient’s age, medical history if you know it, and any medication they might be taking. Try to describe the emergency as accurately as possible to the ERO.

Provide the ER24 Emergency Resource Officer (ERO) with the right location

Answer the ERO’s questions as best you can and try to give your exact location. The ER24 crew will be wasting precious time if they need to search for an unclear address or they’re given incorrect directions.

How our highly trained EROs assist you

“Our system will triage your call, based on your provided information,” says Tonkin. The ER24 ERO will liaise with the ER24 dispatcher, who will immediately assess the level of care needed and coordinate with the most appropriate crew to attend to the emergency.

While you wait for ER24 to arrive, the ERO is trained to offer pre-arrival instructions and explain what you should and shouldn’t do. They’ll suggest how to make the patient comfortable, whether to administer heat or cold, and talk you through CPR if needed.

ER24 will also contact the South African Police Services (SAPS) or the fire brigade if necessary. Motor vehicle accidents, pedestrian accidents, building fires, physical assaults, gender-based violence and domestic disputes usually require these additional services.

What to expect when an ER24 ambulance arrives

An ER24 ambulance will soon arrive at the scene to provide emergency medical care. The highly trained medical team will assess the situation, stabilise the patient, and initiate necessary procedures.

“Following initial treatment, the patient will be evacuated to the closest and most appropriate medical facility. Depending on the situation, this may be a private hospital or a provincial medical centre,’ says Tonkin.

“On arrival at the medical facility, the patient is handed over to trained medical staff who will continue providing the required care and treatment.”

When not to call ER24 emergency resources

“Remember, if someone is simply not feeling well, it’s not always necessary to call an ER24 ambulance,” says Tonkin.

“You have alternative options if the patient’s life or usual activities would not be immediately threatened by seeking treatment later. For example, coughs, colds, the flu, earaches, and sore throats don’t usually require ambulance transportation. You can usually manage these conditions with over-the-counter medicine from your pharmacist, rest, and self-care. See your GP or other healthcare professional if they persist.”

In case of a medical emergency, call 084 124 for real help, real fast.