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Emergency response: It takes a community

Community involvement and assistance are crucial at a scene of an emergency. Often when emergency responders arrive at the scene, a bystander or a first aider is already attending to the injured and provides valuable information upon handover.

That is why ER24 is proud to support a new community first responder network that wishes to strengthen its relationship with emergency medical services (EMS) and to be equipped with the relevant knowledge when faced with an emergency.

Coleen Johnson, a local Pringle Bay community member, has taken it upon herself to establish a community first responder network that covers the Bettys Bay, Pringle Bay and Rooi Els areas. As part of capacitating the group of first responders, she is planning a collaborative exercise with various agencies in the area, which ER24 is proud to support and be a part of.

“From an EMS perspective, this will allow us to hold a joint exercise and impart valuable knowledge and experience with the community to build on their existing plans and skillsets. We also believe that it will ultimately strengthen community and EMS collaboration, ensuring we work together for the benefit of all,” says Ryan Wills, Training Manager at Mediclinic SA.

He adds, “The community is also well aware that they are situated in an outlying geographical location, and they are trying to take a proactive stance to improve the efficiency of emergency response should they ever need it.”

The planned collaborative exercise on 22 April in Pringle Bay will include ER24, local and provincial traffic services, disaster management, fire and rescue services, Metro EMS, NSRI and local community responders. A simulated accident will be staged on the Hangklip road in Pringle Bay; two other sub-exercises have also been planned for the day: a capsized boat and a drowning incident.

ER24 will also provide ongoing training support to the community of first responders.