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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #960 on: December 08, 2018, 05:46:48 pm »
So, November.
I flew 27.5 hours, and did 12 missions.

Lots of George trips but also a couple to Vredendal and two to Beaufort West (including a CT-GG-BW-CT triangle which was fun).

I have started keeping track of details for each mission.
So a mission is a leg with patients.
I'm using Excel to keep track of everything and I'm still fine-tuning how I want to input the data. I like numbers and stats, so I have a mix of mission number, if the patients were male/female, adult/teenager/child/infant, and then details of their condition.

I only started this mid-November, but some cases were...
Auto-immune disease - the body was attacking itself, specifically the blood vessels of the lungs and kidneys  :o
Head injury after a fall (little old lady)
Paralysed from the waist down
Quite a few sick babies, including one where they couldn't do anything further. Those are the worst; knowing you are flying this kid home to die. At least you know they will be surrounded with love.

Then a really cool moment. At the end of November we flew a baby and mom to CT from GG. The baby was born premature, had pneumonia and all sorts of other nasties.
4-5 days later, we flew the same mom and baby back home to George. I walked past her in the ambulance and I was like "Oh, hi, you're back!" she was looking a lot happier than on the flight down.

When we got to George it was quite a wait for the ambo, so I got chatting to the mom. Her baby has been through a lot and is only 6 weeks old - jaundice, pneumonia, croup, influenza...
But she was on the mend and would be able to go home after a few days. It was cool to hear the story and to actually see the result of these flights. It was also mom's first time in a plane. Shame, I hadn't realized on the flight to CT. So quite special she could share that with her little daughter. I remind myself of that conversation now when I have down days.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #961 on: December 08, 2018, 05:57:44 pm »
As usual, there has been a heap of family drama. But on Tuesday, I decided I needed a break, and the bf and I set off for the Stellenbosch Flying Club.

Where I got to fly the De Havilland Chipmunk for the first time in over 4 years (almost to the day). It felt so good being back in a taildragger, and not having to worry about clearances and computers and co-pilots. Real stick and rudder, wind in your hair, don't mess up flying. I was grinning from ear to ear. The icing on the cake was being able to take my bf for a quick flight too (first I flew with a taildragger-proficient pilot to wake my feet up). His first time flying a tail dragger with me, and it was in the iconic "Chippie!".

And then we took a Triumph Bonneville for a burn around the hangars  :ricky:

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #962 on: December 08, 2018, 06:25:26 pm »
.

Online Oubones

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #963 on: December 09, 2018, 08:01:53 am »
Ag lekker om met die ou goed te speel!
Ironies, my ou vriend wat sy bonnievale van nuuts besit het en tot op goed in die 70 jaar oud gery het, is rukkie terug oorlede.
Op amper 90 het hy nog elke week met sy RT gery al moes sy vrou hom help op en afklim asook terugstoot in die motorhuis in!
Net anders die ou goed!
Daai een wat julle gery het lyk baie mooi.
Dakar 650
SR 500
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #964 on: December 09, 2018, 08:21:20 am »
Ag lekker om met die ou goed te speel!
Ironies, my ou vriend wat sy bonnievale van nuuts besit het en tot op goed in die 70 jaar oud gery het, is rukkie terug oorlede.
Op amper 90 het hy nog elke week met sy RT gery al moes sy vrou hom help op en afklim asook terugstoot in die motorhuis in!
Net anders die ou goed!
Daai een wat julle gery het lyk baie mooi.

Thanks Bones. That's really quite something. Bikes keep you young :)

This one is in very good condition. Took me a while to find the ignition, but she fired right up and purred along quietly. Then I blipped the throttle and the grin wrapped around my face!  :ricky: :ricky:

Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #965 on: December 16, 2018, 03:33:41 pm »
Still love your thread Sardine!! :thumleft: :laughing4:
 

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #966 on: December 21, 2018, 03:20:13 pm »
Thank you Tom.  :thumleft:

December has been quiet. I canít believe Christmas is just a few days away. My first Christmas at home in 4 years!

Work has been very quiet. I have done a whopping 10 hours this month.
But, I have renewed my grade II flight instructors rating and Iím really hoping to do some instruction in the coming months. Just something to keep my hand in and keep me out of mischief.

I also had the pleasure of flying in a Cessna 180 a few days ago. What a beautiful aircraft! It really is a rugged piece of kit. No wonder the Americans and Canadians love them in the backcountry!

Iím sitting in George waiting for our patient. Could be worse, I have coffee and an aircon. But the muffins at the buffet are really testing my self control!
ó-

On  Monday we tackled Platteklip Gorge which was great fun. I made it up in 59min49secs... I might have elbowed someone out the way in my haste to get to the top.
After a walk around the top to stretch the legs we set off for the trip back down. My legs were dead after that! Then we tucked into a well deserved Jerryís burger!

Yesterday was a lekker day! My sister and niece came to visit and then I set out on a walk. Lower Signal Hill, around the base of Lions Head, and then down to Green Point through town. 13km in total. My feet were buggered! But what a few.
I am really enjoying living in a Cape Town and exploring the trails and tracks.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #967 on: December 21, 2018, 03:22:49 pm »
Looking down Platteklip Gorge

View from the Cessna 180

Yesterdayís walk



Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #968 on: December 21, 2018, 03:28:45 pm »
Sardine that platteklip Gorge view should be printed!  :thumleft:
 
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Offline 0012

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #969 on: December 21, 2018, 03:52:14 pm »
wow, stunning pics and stories as usual, thank you  :sip:
->    TransAlp 650 - sold
:(    Yamaha XT1200Z - written off - R.I.P.
 
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Offline ican

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My African Dream
« Reply #970 on: December 22, 2018, 05:21:48 am »
Love this thread!
I really enjoy seeing life through your eyes, especially as l have a passion for flying myself.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2018, 05:22:54 am by ican »
In a world full of people, only some want to fly... Isn't that crazy?
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #971 on: December 24, 2018, 02:20:21 pm »
Thank you, folks  :)

The last couple of days have picked up with a flight to Vredendal and two flights to George.

I've spent a lot of time in hospitals this year - sick niece, and operations for my sister and mom. I'm tired of hospitals.
But on one of the George flights I decided not to sit and wait in the terminal, but to rather go with the crew to the hospital.

The paramedics were only too happy to have me tag along.
It's the first time in many years that I have driven through George during the day. It was clean, welcoming, and I believe they have done away with taxi's and operate busses instead - really cool!

I have been to George hospital once, but never went inside. I was expecting something like HH Hospital in Somerset West... which is ironic as I have never been in HH either. But I have heard it's crowded, dirty, old and just not a pleasant place to be (as hospitals go).
Well, George hospital was empty. We went to a general ward where patients were just finishing off what looked and smelt like a decent pre-Christmas of lunch. Whilst it is an old hospital, it was neat and tidy and clean.

After checking on that patient (a last-minute teen experiencing seizures) we set off to ICU for the guy we originally came for.

The ICU was nice and cool - probably the only place with aircon. There were 6 beds, and two sisters/nurses on duty. Not quite like Busamed where it's a 1:2 (maybe even 1:1) ratio of staff to patients.

Our guy was in a car crash. Apart from a very swollen face and a cut on his foot, you never would have thought anything was wrong. That is, if a machine hadn't been breathing for him.
Intubated and ventilated, he had severe head trauma.
I got to watch the hand over from the doctor to the paramedics, and then the delicate process of setting up our equipment began. The PC-12 is a flying ICU, so we have portable ventilators. Once all the machinery was set up, they started transferring him over to our equipment. In aviation, communication is key, and it's no different in medicine. Switching from the hospital oxygen to our portable oxygen is a co-ordinated dance between paramedics, ensuring the patient is off oxygen for no more than a second.

I got to see how they make use of a scoop and head roll to immobilize the patient. How they get packaged to ensure comfort but also safety - this guy wasn't conscious but would randomly grab at leads and the very tube keeping him alive. A young chap, 18 or so, but tall, it took 4 of us to move him at times. And to think sometimes there are only two paramedics.

As the paramedics did their thing, they explained everything they did so that I could learn. At some companies overseas, pilots are trained to paramedic level, and paramedics to PPL level, so that they can work more effectively as a team when the poo hits the fan.

It took a little over two hours from landing at George, to leaving the hospital with the patients. It feels a lot longer when sitting in Wimpy.

For the drive back to the airfield I assisted by checking the oxygen bottle level as they had to time the transfer from ambulance to aircraft, and then aircraft to ambulance in Cape Town.
The aircraft has two big bottles of oxygen for patients, and a smaller portable bottle is used when loading and offloading patients (and in this case, in the ambulance as there was some sort of issue with the ambo's oxygen).

I could also see the patients' stats. The monitor and ventilator is attached to the stretcher that gets loaded into the aircraft. We reckon the weight of patient plus equipment was easily 120kg.
And we manually load patients into the back of the PC-12. There is no hydraulic lift. It's a workout, and there's always a risk of a sprain or pinched fingers.
The Royal Flying Doctor Service in Australia has a funky lift.

It was an uneventful flight back. Unfortunately, based on the stats of the critical patient, it is likely he has suffered severe brain damage. Makes one really appreciate every moment.

Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #972 on: December 24, 2018, 02:23:19 pm »
On a happier note...

A very Merry Christmas, Dogs. Hope you have a splendid time with family and/or friends.
Please do be careful out there.

Online TeeJay

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #973 on: December 24, 2018, 03:05:22 pm »
Thanks Heather and the same wishes go out to you and your loved one's.

Always enjoy reading your stories - please keep them coming in the new year.

Safe travels out there.

 :thumleft:
Ja/Nee
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #974 on: December 24, 2018, 08:52:52 pm »
Many thanks TeeJay!

As luck would have it, I hadnít been called out on a single night shift so far this month (about 5 of them).
Trust the call to come on Christmas Eve!

Oh well, it was a stunning flight to George. I chose not to go with to the hospital this time so we are waiting in town.

And tomorrow I get to see my family. Beats a Christmas in Botswana!

Photo: Sunset from the George apron...

Offline buzzlightyear

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #975 on: December 25, 2018, 08:08:52 am »
Thank you for sharing your life with us Sardine, haven't been on WD for a while, yours was one of the threads I HAD to read and catch up on.  I have had a keen interest in flight for 20+ years, did a lot of flightsimming with 'live' ATC and traffic years ago, nice to see it through a pilot's eyes.

Merry Christmas!
"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)
 
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Offline EssBee

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #976 on: December 25, 2018, 03:57:43 pm »
Thanks again for keeping none of my fav threads alive, and you too have a lekka Christmas.
 
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Offline Tom van Brits

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #977 on: December 26, 2018, 03:09:15 pm »
I have a friend (old colleague) at 911 flight desk in Jhb and she was working yesterday.
Said they were so busy.
I can recall a few years back that nothing was happening over the festive season inland, and the helicopters hardly ever worked.
How drastically things have changed. Last night while riding back home from my daughter I was shocked to see how busy the roads were after 9pm and how many drunk people were driving, dicing and shouting out of their vehicles.
The main road through Brits, all the way from Harties and no police vehicles, no nothing but chaos.
Riding past the fire brigade the machine bay was almost empty, meaning they were also busy.

Point I want to make Sardine; you have made a good choice in career being with the flying EMS. You can only get busier and there will be more air ambulances in future.
 

Offline silvrav

Re: My African Dream
« Reply #978 on: December 27, 2018, 10:22:07 pm »
Many thanks TeeJay!

As luck would have it, I hadnít been called out on a single night shift so far this month (about 5 of them).
Trust the call to come on Christmas Eve!

Oh well, it was a stunning flight to George. I chose not to go with to the hospital this time so we are waiting in town.

And tomorrow I get to see my family. Beats a Christmas in Botswana!

Photo: Sunset from the George apron...

wow, thats a stunning pic! Real jetsetter look  :P
 
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Offline Sardine

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Re: My African Dream
« Reply #979 on: December 31, 2018, 06:39:25 am »
I have a friend (old colleague) at 911 flight desk in Jhb and she was working yesterday.
Said they were so busy.
I can recall a few years back that nothing was happening over the festive season inland, and the helicopters hardly ever worked.
How drastically things have changed. Last night while riding back home from my daughter I was shocked to see how busy the roads were after 9pm and how many drunk people were driving, dicing and shouting out of their vehicles.
The main road through Brits, all the way from Harties and no police vehicles, no nothing but chaos.
Riding past the fire brigade the machine bay was almost empty, meaning they were also busy.

Point I want to make Sardine; you have made a good choice in career being with the flying EMS. You can only get busier and there will be more air ambulances in future.

The seasoned paramedics say that fatalies increase substanstially on Christmas Day.
Fortunately for our Cape Town crews, it was a quiet Christmas.

---

And so ends another month, and another year. I was rostered on night shift the 28th and 29th, and with near-perfect weather, I was hoping to fly. Alas, nothing came in.
I am off today and my Dad is visiting so we're going to spend some time at my sister's house. I can't wait to see my niece!

Yesterday was a stunning day and the bf and I decided to tackle Devil's Peak. But more on that later  :patch:

From 1 January 2017 - 31 December 2017, I had flown 712hrs and done 1472 take-off's and landings  :ricky:
From 1 January 2018 - 31 December 2018, I have flown 281hrs, and done 310 take-off's and landings  ???

The flying info for December. 2018..
24.6 hours flown, which comprised of 10 work missions, a fun flight, a training flight, and a flight test.
7 adults
2 teenagers
3 children
4 infants
Conditions ranging from pneumonia, to pacemakers, to TB of the bone, to a burn victim, a child attacked by a dog, a premature baby, and a few people with head trauma (one from a car crash, another caused trouble and got attacked - I don't think he made it).

Hours spent waiting at George airport? Countless  :laughing4:

And the highlight of the month was going with to George hospital and seeing the paramedics in action.