South Africa — On Sunday evening Aerocare emergency air evacuation services assisted in the swift evacuation of a young 21year old farmer who suffered critical burn wounds in veld fires raging in the Bethlehem area.
Jaco Nortje was celebrating his 21st birthday when a fire broke out on a farm next to the Kaallaagte road between Bethlehem and Paul Roux. He was called to assist by his brother and on the way he was trapped by the fire in his vehicle. He tried to run from the fire but was caught in the fire and suffered critical burn wounds. His family and friends found him and rushed him to hospital
Medical personnel in Bethlehem stabilised the burn victim and advised that it is best for him to be transferred to Bloemfontein. Medical experts enquired from Aerocare whether they would be willing to assist. Aerocare in a kind gesture and in light of financial difficulty offered to perform the emergency evacuation services free of charge [pro bono].
The Arrive Alive road safety website also approached its road safety partner ER24 to provide their service free of charge in transporting the patient in the road ambulance from the airport to Pelenomi hospital. ER24 in a kind gesture offered to assist free of charge.
The flight from Bloemfontein International was performed by pilots Captain Marco Van Dyk and co-pilot Louis Steyl and Lunga Nzimande. On board and at the hospital the patient was assisted by medical personnel ICU nurse Karin Jansen and trauma doctor Nicolas Els.
[A word of appreciation to Aerocare, ER24 and also to Eastern Free State Aviation who donated R5000 towards fuelling the aircraft.]
Update: We were informed that the young burn victim passed away during the night. Our condolences to the family and friends of Jaco Nortje.