Medical emergency transport and rescue
EMS is divided into 4 core components:
Each ambulance is fully equipped with the appropriate medical equipment and medication, plus two stretchers. Skilled medical practitioners work in teams of two per ambulance and provide quality care based on their training.
Levels of care within EMS are divided into:
EMS operates over 250 ambulances throughout the province.
The 6 Emergency Communications Centers (ECCs) throughout the province employ trained call takers and dispatchers who make sure that the calls made in an emergency are correctly prioritized and dispatch the closest ambulance offering the correct level of care to the incident.
ECCs are located in the districts of Cape Town, Cape Winelands, West Coast, Overberg, Eden and Central Karoo. Emergency Communications also operates a Major Incident Command Vehicle (METRO 4) which operates as a mobile communications and command centre in the event of a disaster or major incident.
EMS rescue technicians provide both technical and medical care on the scene of a rescue operation. These operations may vary from motor vehicle accidents requiring patients to be mechanically extraicated with the “Jaws of Life”, through to mountain rescues where patients need to be airlifted or carried to safety.
Each rescue vehicle is fully equipped with power tools and hiking equipment and there are 46 rescue vehicles operating in our province, including Rescue 6 (EMS Rescue Crane) which can remove heavy equipment (such as trucks) from scenes, providing access to patients for the EMS staff.
HealthNET (Health Non-Emergency Transport) provides transport for non emergency patients between home and facilities, or between multiple facilities. Patients are booked using an online system that ensures that seats are allocated equitably and no patients can be overbooked.
Bookings can only be made through a provincial health care facility (hospital/clinic) and patients receive a reference number and date of collection. There are 90 HealthNET vehicles operating in the Western Cape.
Before you call:
Always make sure that it’s a real medical emergency before you call as tying up emergency lines could lead to the prolonged suffering or death of someone else.
When calling an emergency number, make sure that you have the following information ready:
For emergency medical care, phone the National Medical Emergency Number 10177, and an ambulance will be sent out from one of several ECCs in the Western Cape.
If you’re are dialling from a cell phone, you can dial 112.
For more information you can also phone the EMS Head Office on 021 932 1966.
Cell phone emergency: 112 (MTN, CellC and Telkom)
EMS Head Office: 021 932 1966
Western Cape Government: 0860 142 142
City of Cape Town General Emergency: 107
These facility categories:
|Government Body:||(Western Cape Government)|
No one will be refused the service based on capacity to pay.
If you’re a member of a specific medical aid , you’ll be charged Uniform Patient Fee Rates agreed with the medical aids.
If you’re not, you’ll be assessed according to your income and charged
- Calling for Help in an Emergency (Service)
- Red Cross War Memorial Children's Hospital Poison Line (Service)
- Regulations Governing Ambulance Services in the Western Cape (Guidelines, Manuals and Instructions) (File type: pdf; size: 1012.76 KB)
- Western Cape Ambulance Services Act, 2003 (Act) (File type: pdf; size: 204.5 KB)