Paramedics resuscitate and stabilize the condition of critically ill or injured persons by applying emergency care prior to their transport to hospital and by ensuring that their patients continue to receive care en route to hospital.
They drive in specially equipped vehicles to the scene of emergencies. As and when necessary, they will request additional help from the police or fire department. At an emergency scene they make quick assessments of patients and give appropriate treatment. All ambulances are in contact with a central control centre by radio or computer. On receiving a call, the nearest available ambulance or rapid response vehicle is despatched to the scene. After a call has been received, two paramedics hasten to the emergency scene, observing traffic safety rules and legislation pertaining to emergency vehicles.
Upon arrival at the scene they make a survey of both the patient and the situation to decide upon suitable treatment, which is then applied, including basic life-support and the treatment of wounds and fractures. They resuscitate and stabilise the condition of critically ill or injured persons by applying emergency care procedures. Specialised equipment and rescue tools, such as the “Jaws of Life” can be used to free anyone that is trapped in the wreckage. Procedures may include:
Schooling & School Subjects
National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course
Grade 10 Certificate for in-service training
Each institution has its own entry requirements.
Training: Emergency Medicine - UCT, Emergency Medical Care - UJ, CUT, CPUT, Emergency Medical Care and Rescue - DUT
In-service training: Basic Ambulance Course (BAC): a 4-week orientation and training course must be passed for permanent appointment.
Ambulance College: After 6 months service, the candidate may enrol for the Ambulance Emergency Assistant (AEA) course of 11 weeks offered here.
Successful candidates register at the Health Professions Council of SA as an ambulance emergency assistant.
Advanced training courses include: Basic Medical Rescue; Critical Care Assistant; and Minimum Safety Driving.
South African Emergency Services Institute
295 Jorrisen Street, Off Voortrekker Road
Tel: (011) 660-5672
Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA)
(553) of Hamilton and
Tel: (012) 338-9300