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North West Private Ambulance Training College

North West Private Ambulance Training College

INTRODUCTION

The North West Province (NWP) Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS) College is responsible for emergency care training for staff from the North West Province.

COLLEGE BACKGROUND

The NWP EMRS College opened in 2001 due to the demand for training of staff in the province. In 2001 the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) moved from the municipality to the provincial government. Most of the staff in the EMS appointed at the time only had a driver’s license. As there was no provincial college the department had to send staff to private colleges for Emergency Medical and Rescue training, which was expensive. The province thus decided to open a provincial college. Initially there were resource constraints but resources were borrowed from the EMS stations in the Klerksdorp area and with some basic equipment the college was born.

In February 2004 the College moved to Klerksdorp. It had a minimal budget and only 4 permanent staff members. The College was located in a building at Excelcius Nursing College. The College only presented a 4 week course, the Basic Ambulance Assistant (BAA) course.

In August 2004 the college moved from Klerksdorp to Duff Scott Hospital in Stilfontein. In 2006 the College got accreditation to present the four month Ambulance Emergency Care Assistant (AEA) course and also started presenting basic rescue courses.

In 2006 the National Department of Health (NDoH) started to implement the Emergency Care Technician (ECT) course. The ECT course was developed to increase the amount of Paramedic’s in the country with specifically the 2010 FIFA World Cup in mind. In 2006 the NWP had no operational paramedics. The NWP EMRS College was the first college in the country to start with this training in April 2007, with 27 students.

From 2007 the College started expanding drastically and a lack of space at the facility in Stilfontein became a problem. Management started to look for bigger accommodation and they found it in Orkney. On the 1st of February 2008 the College relocated to Orkney, to an old mine hostel that was donated to them by AngloGold Ashanti. Not only did the College now have a big facility, but the staff has increased from 4 members in 2004 to 33 members in 2010. Due to the amount of staff and facilities the college can now present all the necessary EMS courses, all rescue courses and many additional related courses as needed by health professionals in the province. As the training is done for provincial staff there are no cost involved with this.

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ECT COURSE

Currently the ECT course is the main focus for the EMRS College. The course is presented for in service staff and school leavers by the tertiary wing. The entry requirements for the ECT program are a matric certificate, a valid driving license and residency in the NWP for school leavers. Selection criteria used include a literacy and numeracy test followed by a physical fitness test. To apply for the course an entry form needs to be completed that are available from the College. Once qualified learners need to work back two years for the NWP.

The ECT qualification is a two year NQF level 5 qualification. Learners completing this course register as an Advance Life Support Paramedic. After a bridging course ECT’s can study another 2 years to receive their degree in Emergency Medical Care.

RESCUE COURSES

Besides the ECT course the College also offers rescue training. The vision of the rescue wing is to produce a group of Advanced Rescue Practitioner every year. Currently the College presents the Rescue Practitioner qualification that consists of high angle 1, vehicle rescue and fire search and rescue courses. The college also presents the aviation rescue, aquatic rescue, confined space rescue, hazmat rescue, high angle 2 rescue, industrial rescue, structural collapse rescue, trench rescue and the wilderness search and rescue courses. A person who has done all 12 the rescue courses are called an Advance Rescue Practitioner.

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OTHER COURSES

Except for the ECT and rescue courses the College also presents other medical courses, which are co-ordinated by the third wing, the medical wing. The vision of the medical wing is to develop and refresh the EMRS personnel and to offer health care training for health care providers in the province. Some of the courses presented are the B.E.S.T. (Basic Emergency Skills Training) course from Australia, which is presented for doctors and Advanced Life Support (ALS) Paramedics, the Basic Life Support (BLS) for Health Care Providers course for doctors, nurses and emergency care practitioners, the Pre-Hospital Major Incident Medical Management and Support (MIMMS) course for EMS staff and the Hospital MIMMS course for all Hospital staff. Refresher training for EMS staff is also presented on a regular basis. The College also offers the most comprehensive Continuous Professional Development (CPD) program for EMS staff in the country. All of this training is presented free of charge. Interested staff members can contact the College for more details.

ACHIEVEMENTS

In the last five years the NWP EMRS College has reached many heights. The College was the first College in South Africa to start with and to produce ECT’s. Currently the EMRS College is the only college in South Africa that is accredited to present all 12 rescue courses. Last year at a national competition two teams from the EMRS College won the title for the best high angle team in the country and also for the 3rd best vehicle rescue team. In January 2010 the EMRS College was able to send a ten man team to assist earth quack victims in Haiti. The College team was able to rescue a lady who was trapped under rubble for more than 7 days and received international media coverage while doing this.

CONCLUSION

Currently the NWP EMRS College is seen as one of the best EMRS colleges in our country. The College has grown in the last five years from the smallest EMRS College to the biggest. This achievement was reached due to the dedication of the current college management and some very dedicated staff members. Not only has the staff complement, the capital equipment, budget and facilities grown in the last few years, but various traditions have been implemented at the College, which are very unique. Some of the traditions include signing happy birthday to staff on their birthday (with cake during tea time), the small cup for new staff, TLC (Teamwork and Leadership course) for the ECT students and the wall of shame to mention a few. If you look at what the College has achieved in the last five years just imagine where it can be in the next five!

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Services Rendered and Operating hours
PRINCIPAL
Mr. R. Menkveld
Tel: +27 (0) 18 473 0324
Fax: +27 (0) 18 473 0319
Email: rmenkveld@nwpg.gov.za

REGISTRAR
Mr.L. Thubela
Tel: +27 (0) 18 473 0324
Fax: +27 (0) 18 473 0315
Email: lthubela@nwpg.gov.za

HEAD TERTIARY
Mr. L. King
Tel: +27 (0) 18 473 0324
Fax: +27 (0) 18 473 0352
Email: lfourie@nwpg.gov.za

NON MEDICAL & RESCUE
Mr. N Louw
Tel: +27 (0) 18 473 0324
Fax: +27 (0) 18 473 0316
Email: nlouw@nwpg.gov.za

HEAD IT
Mr.J. P. Meyer
Tel: +27 (0) 18 473 0324
Fax: +27 (0) 18 473 0326
Email: jmeyer@nwpg.gov.za

POSTAL ADDRESS
P.O. Box 258
Orkney
2620

PHYSICAL ADDRESS

DIRECTIONS
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-25.883319,25.655036

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