Remote rescue training - on location at Bumi Hills

ACE Air & Ambulance • 11 January 2020

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In December 2019, Bumi Hills Safari Lodge on Lake Kariba, hosted an unusual group of guests.

Teams of paramedics from ACE Air & Ambulance spent three days at the lodge undertaking an extremely intensive training course in Remote Rescue coupled with a team-building exercise.  

ACE Air & Ambulance is Zimbabwe's top provider of emergency medical rescue services.  Accredited to international standards, this organisation prides itself on its readiness to provide top class medical care in the most challenging of circumstances.

ACE Operations Director, Mark Smythe describes the recent training course:-

"A random selection of ACE paramedics from our Operations, Training, Air Rescue and Remote Rescue departments were chosen for this year's course.  

They were put into teams and battled it out in an uncontrolled and unpleasant environment to see who would finish as the best team.

The challenge was 3 days long in 42 degree heat.

The participants were sent on different missions including air rescue by helicopter, water rescue by boat and remote rescue by foot around the Lake Kariba area. 

The judges were from different organisations and assessed the teams on their time to respond, patient management, clinical practice and safety. 

The winning team was the External Bases team made up of a Harare, Bulawayo, Chinhoyi and Vic Falls base member. 
Mark Smythe
Freddy Fordson
Tendai Mutandwa
Shelton Ndlovu 

This is an annual event that strengthens ACE's capacity and skill to operate under pressure in an uncontrolled environment. Challenges faced include lack of communication, extreme weather conditions, difficult terrain, presence of dangerous wildlife, remote access and patient management with limited resources.

All of this is helps us prepare and sharpen our techniques, making us ready for the real thing, and at the same time undertaking a team building exercise. 

A big thank you to African Bush Camps and the staff and management at Bumi Hills Safari Lodge in particular for sponsoring the event.  This year's course was outstanding."    

ACE provides a subscription-based 24-hour comprehensive emergency medical package of affordable air and road medical transportation with advanced, rapid response medical care using fully equipped ground and air ambulances for members. 

Different membership packages are available to individuals and families locally or regionally with evacuation to either local or regional medical facilities etc.  Safari Camps can purchase a special yearly package to cover their clients, and holiday-makers in Victoria Falls can purchase membership on a daily rate for as little as $15 per day.

For more information, see ACE Air & Ambulance.

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