What is emergency medical response

What is emergency medical response?

As we all know, accidents usually happen when we least expect them. This is why emergency medical response is so important – it can literally mean the difference between life and death.


In this post, we’ll look at emergency medical services in South Africa, introduce you to the EMERGIVAC offering, and run through how to respond to some of the most common medical emergencies. 


What is emergency medical response

Emergency medical response is the term used to describe the actions taken by medical personnel to save lives in the event of an accident or other medical emergency. This can include anything from providing first aid to transporting patients to hospital.


In South Africa, emergency medical response is the responsibility of the Emergency Medical Services (EMS). The EMS is a division of the Department of Health and is responsible for providing medical care to patients in emergency situations.


But when you’re in crisis, knowing what to do next and thinking rationally can be extremely difficult. That’s why we’ve made getting the support and guidance you need in the moment as easy as tapping a button.


Emergency medical care and rescue services we offer:


EMERGIVAC is a South African emergency medical response company that provides urgent medical care and rescue services when you need them most. When you activate the medical panic button on our app, you’ll be instantly connected with help. 

Our medical emergency care service includes

  • Dispatch of the nearest available paramedic vehicle and team
  • Transport to the nearest hospital if required  
  • Medical helicopter evacuation if the situation is serious enough 
  • Continuous support and guidance from our Customer Experience Centre 
  • Guaranteed hospital admission – we will ensure the emergency room knows about and is prepared for your arrival   

In addition to emergency medical care, we also offer armed response, roadside assistance, and household assistance services, as well as illness cover and death and disability benefits. See our benefits page for more details. 

About emergency medical care:


When most people think of emergency medical care, they picture ambulances and hospital ERs. However, emergency medical care encompasses a much wider range of care than just transportation to the hospital. 


In fact, emergency medical care can be divided into three main categories: pre-hospital care, hospital care, and post-hospital care. 


  • Pre-hospital care includes any medical care that is provided before a patient arrives at the hospital, such as CPR or first aid. 
  • Hospital care refers to the treatment that a patient receives while at the hospital, including everything from surgery to treatment for a broken bone. 
  • Finally, post-hospital care refers to the care that a patient receives after they have been discharged from the hospital, such as follow-up appointments and physical therapy. 


All three types of emergency medical care are essential for providing patients with the best possible outcome.


How to respond to medical emergencies 


When an emergency happens, every second counts. Being injured is always a scary experience, but it can be especially daunting if the injury is serious. 

What is emergency medical response - EMERGIVAC

If you or a loved one are ever in this situation, it’s important to know what steps to take in order to ensure that you receive the best possible care. 


First and foremost, if you are an EMERGIVAC member, hit the medical emergency panic button on the EMERGIVAC app. You will be instantly connected with one of our highly trained consultants who will guide you on the next steps, and arrange for the nearest paramedics to come to your location. 


If you are not a member, the general emergency medical services contact number in South Africa is 10111 or 10177


Once emergency services have been contacted, try to do everything you can to stay calm and wait for help to arrive. EMERGIVAC members will receive continuous updates and guidance from our team. If you’re able to, give the responding medical professionals a clear and concise description of what happened and where the pain is located.


Common medical emergencies – what to do while you’re waiting for help to arrive


There are a number of medical emergencies that we see on a regular basis. While every situation is different, there are some general steps that you can take to ensure you receive the best possible care.


Heart attack:

If you think you or someone else is having a heart attack, call for help or hit the medical panic button immediately. While you are waiting for help to arrive, the person should sit down and try to stay calm. If they are unable to sit up, they should lie down on their left side with their knees pulled up towards their chest. This position will help to ease the pain and help them to breathe more easily.


Serious cuts or bleeding wounds: 

While you are waiting for help to arrive, try to apply direct pressure to the wound to help stop the bleeding. If you have a clean cloth or bandage, tie it tightly around the wound, and keep the wound elevated unless you suspect a fracture. 


Suspected broken bone:

Try to keep the injured limb as still as possible. If you have a clean cloth or bandage, tie it around the injury to help immobilise it if possible. 


Allergic reactions:

Check whether the person has an EpiPen, and assist them in using it if so. If not, monitor their breathing while you wait for help. 


The person has collapsed or fainted: 

Check whether they are breathing. You can do this by tilting their head back and looking to see if their chest is rising and falling. If they are not breathing, start CPR immediately. (If you don’t know how to perform CPR, our consultant or the emergency operator can talk you through it.)

If they are breathing, try to keep them as comfortable as possible and wait for help to arrive.



If the person has a serious burn, call for help or hit the medical panic button immediately. While you are waiting for help to arrive, try to cool the burn by running it under cold water for at least 10 minutes.

  • Do not put any ice on the burn, as this can cause further damage.
  • Do not try to remove any clothing that is stuck to the skin.
  • Do not put any ointments, oils, or cream on the burn.
  • Do not break any blisters that have formed.


Remember, if you or someone you love is ever in a medical emergency, the best way to assist them is by staying calm and calling for help. EMERGIVAC members will receive guidance and support from our team of highly trained professionals every step of the way, and enjoy guaranteed hospital admission and helicopter evacuation if the situation is life-threatening. 


Keen to learn more? Compare our plans, check out our FAQ, or get in touch with one of our friendly consultants today! 


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *