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New ambulance base makes history

A new ambulance base is now serving several mining areas directly for the first time.

According to the West Rand District EMS (Emergency Medical Services) manager, Mr Jurgens Bence, the Wedela base was opened at the newly-renovated West Wits Hospital at the end of March. This new base will bring faster government ambulance services to the Wedela, Elandsrand and Deelkraal areas and the adjacent mining areas. However, Blyvooruitzicht will still be served by the Carletonville base. “We want to improve our response times to these areas. Although the national guideline for P1 patients (those who need immediate life-saving intervention) is 30 minutes, the Gauteng guideline is 15 minutes. Less serious patients must be reached in under an hour,” says Bence. He adds that the new base, situated in a separate building on the hospital grounds, currently has one ambu- lance per shift. A second ambulance will arrive by 1 June. Bence explained the steps the public should follow to get hold of a government ambulance and the complaints procedure if they struggle to get assistance. You should contact the Gauteng EMS emergency control centre when you require an ambulance for any patient needing to be transported to a healthcare facility. This includes emergency medical and inter-facility transfers and booking planned patient transport (PPT). The calls are recorded and the call taker will provide a reference number for your call. Contact the control centre on 112 using any cell phone or phone 10177 from any Telkom landline. The direct numbers of the control centre are 011 564 2210/1. Should you experience any delays or other problems with the control room, you may escalate the matter to the control room supervisor on 011 564 2250 or 011 564 2289. All EMS bases have cell phones allocated to the on-duty shift leader, who can be contacted 24 hours a day as the second line of escalation after 30 minutes without service.

The Merafong numbers are Carletonville: 063 689 7862; Khutsong: 063 689 8333; Fochville: 068 543 0568 and Wedela: 072 282 8748. The base managers of Gauteng EMS in the West Rand serve as the third line of escalation and can be contacted during office hours and only for emergencies after hours. The base managers for Merafong are Carletonville: Mr L. Mashiangako 071 604 5664, Khutsong: Mr L.J. Tlisane 082 964 8842, Fochville: Mrs N.R. Thai 060 997 3146 and Wedela: Mr M Bathabeng 072 282 8666. You are welcome to contact the responsible station manager in your area directly should you have any concerns, service delivery problems or queries regarding the EMS service. Should there be any serious issues that cannot be resolved by the station managers or if you cannot find the responsible station manager, feel free to contact the district manager on 082 889 6874 or email Jurgens.Bence@gauteng.gov.za. Mr JP von Be- necke is the acting operations manager and the appointed communi- cations manager. He is responsible for the emergency operations and control centre. He can be contacted when serious issues with the control room cannot be resolved by the control room supervisor. Mr Von Benecke can be contacted at the control centre. His email address is Johanne.VonBenecke@gauteng.gov.za. Mr Colin Errakiah is the acting director: Operations at Gauteng EMS and leads all EMS operations in the Gauteng Province. Mr Errakiah can be contacted when there are serious issues that cannot be resolved by the station managers or the district manager or when Mr Bence cannot be reached. Mr Errakiah can be contacted by phoning the control centre. His email address is Colin.Errakiah@gauteng.gov.za. All compliments and complaints regarding the Gauteng EMS Service can be reported to the EMS 24-hour Complaints Line at 011 564 2235.

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