Emergency Rescue Fund

On 12 October 1999, the KwaZulu-Natal Nature Conservation Service launched an Emergency Rescue Fund to cover the costs of search, rescue and evacuation of visitors who might be injured or suffer a medical emergency in any of the protected areas under its control.

The new Emergency Fund will become effective on 1 November 1999 and in the event of an emergency in one of the protected areas, allow the NCS to do everything within the limits of its powers and resources to carry out effective search and rescue operations in the best interests of affected persons. For over 30 years the Rescue Group of the Mountain Club of South Africa has voluntarily managed a great number of mountain rescues and, with 15 Squadron of the South African Air Force, have saved many lives.

The hiking public owe them a huge debt of gratitude. It is the intention of this new fund to make the task of rescue as effective as possible by extending it to parks across the province and moving the rescue costs from the tax paying public to the user.

In essence the fund will cover the following:

The evacuation of an injured person, with patient care en route, to the nearest appropriate medical facility;
The decision as to whether an evacuation will take place, the manner in which it will take place and the identification of the nearest appropriate medical facility will be made by the Officer-in-Charge of the protected area in consultation with a trained medical person where reasonably possible;
The fund will not cover the costs of any rescue operation occasioned by the reckless or negligent self-endangerment of a visitor, in such instance the Ezemvelo may recover costs from such a visitor;
The fund will only become effective in respect of visitors who hold a valid entry permit, both in respect of the date and place an emergency occurs and where all the relevant rules, regulations and requirements of Ezemvelo have been adhered to;
Should an injured visitor or his/her agents request a form of rescue procedure that differs from the decision of the Officer-in-Charge, the costs involved will be borne by the visitor;
Ezemvelo will always try to operate in the best interests of the visitor but in view of factors such as poor weather and other similar conditions, cannot guarantee a successful operation;

Disclaimer: Whilst the Ezemvelo will always act in the best interests of their visitors, Ezemvelo, their employees and agents do not guarentee that, in all instances, they will be able to carry out or successfully arrange emergency operations in regards to affected persons in protected areas.
The Ezemvelo further indemnify themselves from any liability and from any claims which may result from the carrying out of an emergency operation and/or medical treatment given during or after such operation, whether or not such claims may arise through the negligence of Ezemvelo or any of their officers, members, employees or agents or from any of the risks or possibility of danger associated with any operation.