THE public rarely gets to see rescue teams in operation because they often take place in rural dams and rivers, in mountainous regions like the Drakensberg and cliffs like at the Oribi Gorge.
Many search and rescue operations are carried out at night as well.
Onlookers can only marvel at the sight of paramedics, firemen, police and search and rescue personnel going about their tasks setting up ladders, abseiling down sheer cliffs and mountainsides or over a high river bridge and rigging up the array of gear necessary for the rescue while comforting and reassuring the victims.
These courageous men and women, who respond to these emergency calls, don uniforms of their respective units and institutions, but the teams work as one with the sole aim of rescuing people whom they have never met, even at the risk of endangering their own lives.
These are the people at the forefront of all major rescue operations at times of natural disasters like floods and storms or other industrial or multiple vehicle accidents.
On Wednesday at about 1pm, a few Scott Mews flat residents in Scottburgh watched as rescue personnel from the Umdoni Fire and Rescue, Umdoni Paramedics, Umdoni Protection Services, Umdoni Ambulance Service, SA Paramedical Services, Netcare 911, Med-Evac, Scottburgh SAPS and the Port Shepstone Search and Rescue unit joined forces to get an injured man off the roof of the block of flats.
The 30-year-old man was setting up a DStv dish with his employer when he suffered an epileptic fit and fell.
“He was on the verge of falling off the roof when his employer grabbed hold of him and hauled him back up. The employee sustained injuries to his forehead and some bruises,” said police spokesperson Captain Vincent Pandarum.
“In what could be described as record time, the rescue teams had set up a drip, bandaged the man’s head and stabilised him before strapping him to a special rescue stretcher and lowering him down a step ladder with the aid of ropes,” he added.
The injured man was taken to hospital. - Supplied.