8-Sep-2014 Source: KwaZulu-Natal Govt
You are cordially invited to the launch of the Aero-medical Night Vision Goggles (NVG) system, which will greatly enhance Emergency Services’ Ability to operate at night and to reach areas that are unreachable by road transport.
The Department, in partnership with the Red Cross Air Mercy Services, launched the night–time aeromedical services at the Richard’s Bay Airport, on 04 September 2014 Among the dignitaries in attendance were the KZN Premier, Mr Senzo Mchunu, KZN Health MEC Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo and Uthungulu District Municipality Mayor Mrs Thandeka Mchunu.
The NVG is a specially designed pair of goggles that is generally used in a military environment and allows the user better visibility in night conditions. The Department of Health’s aircrafts interiors have been modified and training has commenced with almost all the Richards Bay Pilots being fully trained. With the proper night-vision equipment, the crew on board the helicopter can see a person standing over 183 m away on a moonless, cloudy night!
This service, which is used mostly by the first world high-tech Air Forces, is a first by a government department for KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa and the African continent.
Its availability will greatly improve access and the delivery of advanced medical and trauma care to our patients and victims of motor vehicle collisions and those trapped in mountains. It has also resulted in the increase of the aeromedical hours of operations.
The Department has commenced with the establishment of Landing Zones and the refurbishment of Landing Strips with the following hospitals already accessible to receive and dispatch night flights:
• KwaMagwaza (Melmoth)
• Ulundi Airfield (Nkonjeni)
• Itshelejuba (Pongola)
• St Benedictine (Nongoma)
• Mkuze Airfield (Bethesda)
• Dukuduku (St Lucia)