- by Dr Anne Mercier
Yesterday was a good day. Well, not entirely in all aspects, but there was a good dash of hope, many professionals working together as a team, and a flying ROCKET of help to change the tide of things.
Thirteen-year-old Chanté* had been missing her friends at school during the COVID lock-down, but a delighted visit to her neighbour’s new puppies ended in tragedy. The protective new doggie mommy misread Chanté’s enthusiasm and attacked her to defend her babies – leaving terrible wounds on Chanté’s arms and legs. Her leg was possibly fractured, and her artery potentially torn, which could threaten blood flow to her foot. The emergency crew called to the scene stabilised her and bandaged her wounds, calling the ROCKET helicopter to speed up the transfer to the hospital for definitive care. They did a fabulous job in identifying and securing a landing zone, and keeping all the people safe while the helicopter landed and took off.
Little Chanté was enormously brave through her first helicopter ride, and learned that by putting her injured leg in a box that the pain and bleeding got much better. She secretly told the flight-doctor that her favourite animal was a unicorn. So we asked Sparkles the unicorn to lead the way through the sky, help the brave pilot to land in blowing winds, and we all delivered her safely to the hospital with a lot less pain. We left our charming young lady in very skilled hands and the watchful eye of her mystical companion.
As the sun set on another beautiful Joburg winters day, crew both in the air and on the ground went home knowing that, at least for one young lady, teamwork had made all the difference. And therefore it was indeed a good day.
* name changed for confidentiality
ROCKET 1 crewed by: Captain Abie Bezuidenhoudt, Dr Anne Mercier and Patrick Wallett
The day that we had been planning and anticipating for so many months had finally arrived...yesterday, as we pulled ROCKET 1 out of the hangar for her very first standby shift, the excitement was palpable. As the day broke, the energy in the hangar was incredible, as everyone settled into their new daily routines. What a team we have managed to unite! Our beautiful new HEMS base welcomed the day shift crew as everyone pitched in to get the last little bits and bobs moved in, and the night shift walked in to find everything ready for a good night's rest in anticipation of immediate action when required.
The journey leading up to launch day was certainly not without its challenges. To make this day happen on time and in such an incredibly smooth manner in the middle of a world-wide Covid-19 lockdown was an almost impossible task, to which our team responded with a tenacity that can only bode well for the future of our operation. At ROCKET we believe in teamwork in everything we do. From the lowest ranked medical assistant to the most senior captain, everyone is an essential part of the team, ensuring a safe operation by working together to identify and mitigate risk. In a hostile environment such as HEMS, looking out for each other is of vital importance, and can literally mean the difference between success and disaster. Our team on the very first shift consisted of Boeta Dippenaar, Patrick Wallet and Divan Meyer...a duty that will be etched in our collective memory forever.
In the cut-throat, dog-eat-dog HEMS industry, guided by our well-established values and procedures, we aim to be the friendly, caring and dependable service that can assist anyone, anywhere whenever required. When a patient needs our help, we will be there to render speedy, safe and compliant assistance - you can rest assured that you are in the very best hands. Whether you're the first paramedic on an accident scene or a doctor requiring a higher facility for patient care, we are ready and able to assist in getting your patient to the most suitable care level.
This blog will chronicle our journey - not from some fancy marketing perspective, but in the words and images of our team on the ground, providing hope to those in need of urgent medical care. We don't believe in stock images and meaningless marketing jargon - our stories are real and our service is tangible. So bookmark this page - we will be posting regularly!
And most importantly - call 087 288 55 55 in an emergency and help us write our ROCKET story!