The towing & roadside industry, much like any other industry, has those businesses that stand out as leaders, pioneers, and masters in their field. Two such groups in the Towing & Roadside arena are Firstroad and Help 24. Or shall we rather say WERE.
Yes, there have been some changes happening and through this has emerged a new, better, bigger, improved giant to roam the countryside. We are very pleased to announce officially that Firstroad and Help 24 have merged and joined forces giving rise to FIRST HELP. With these two greats of towing now joined, they will surely be a force to be reckoned with.
Having such great presence on the roads will allow FIRST HELP to minimise cars being towed by rogue towers in the event of an accident. It will enable FIRST HELP to offer quicker response times for breakdown tows. It will allow FIRST HELP to have more yards around Gauteng, keeping your cars secure, and decreasing travel times per tow which goes to quicker response times.
The joining of these two companies is a great achievement not only for the companies involved, but for the industry as a whole as well as the road user and the insurance carriers.
The experience that backs this new business is invaluable, with 2 Operational Directors, Clinton Spolander & Hennie Miller clocking up around 60 experience between the two of them. This is without mentioning their string innovative management team and the literally 100’s of drivers on the road delivering superior service to all their customers.
FIRST HELP – your first call for help
And the one call that counts
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
First Group and Help24 Spread Warmth this Mandela Day
First Assist, First Road and Help24 hit the streets to give back
Johannesburg, 18 July 2018 – Tow truck drivers of First Assist, First Road and Help24 took warmth to those in need this Mandela day, 18th July 2018. Together, they distributed three thousand new blankets to those on the streets in desperate need of respite from the cold and something warm to sleep with.
“We have gotten to know some of these people who are forced to live on the streets and it is always difficult to come to terms with how hard their lives are. That’s why this winter we got together and ordered three thousand new blankets to make a small difference around Gauteng and Pretoria. Seeing the joy and appreciation from every-one we met was an extremely humbling experience. We were all reminded how easy it is to make a difference in those who are less fortunate than us lives” Clinton Spolander – Director of First Road Emergency
The likes of Thomas who lives in a shack along President Fouche Drive; and Masesi from the Makause Squatter Camp and the children at Sinethemba Day Care in Primrose on the Eastrand; Soloman from Zeerust and Bramley who lives under the Gordon Road bridge in the Westrand; were all touched by “Firsttocare” and their passion to live by the words of Mandela “There can be no greater gift than that of giving one’s time and energy to helping other’s without expecting anything in return” – Nelson Mandela
PRESS ENQUIRIES Colleen Vilela (First Group)
Phone: 072 301 6710
Through all the years of Towing and Emergency Roadside Services that we have been actively involved in, we have always been proud of the fact that we have been First on Scene, First to Arrive and First to Pick Up the vehicles in need of assistance.
Well now we are very proud to be FIRST TO PICK UP in a whole NEW and MEANINGFUL way that will make just as much if not more difference in our lives and benefit everyone around us.
Firstroad & Firstgroup is very pleased to announce our latest initiative that is to be launched by the end of November – FIRST TO PICK UP
Every day our environment deteriorates through lack of caring, lack of facilities for disposing of rubbish and litter and just general apathy when it comes to taking care of the only world we have to live in.
Firstroad will no longer stand by and watch our environment be destroyed.
We pledge to everyone in the communities in which we work and live that we will LEAD the way once again, this time in the fight against LITTER.
Firstroad will be FIRST TO PICK UP throughout Gauteng and we invite & challenge all our colleagues in the Roadside and Towing fraternity to follow us in what we believe to be a crucial and vital fight and one well worth fighting.
FIRST TO PICK UP invites everybody to stand together and protect what we have, to make it a better place to live in and to allow our children and families to enjoy what we have been given for many years to come;
A CLEAN, HEALTHY and SAFE environment.
So be on the look out for our trucks displaying the FIRST TO PICK UP sticker in support of a cleaner community.
And keep visiting our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn & Website for updates on how we will be making a difference.
EMBARGO – STRICTLY FRIDAY, 1 JULY 2016
AWESOME | AIR EVAC | EVOLUTION
Johannesburg, South Africa (1 July 2016) – FlyAwesome Proprietary Limited
Evolving from a 16 year exclusive relationship with a leading international medical
assistance company, FlyAwesome has teamed with the highly experienced aeromedical
team of Air Evacuation Services to launch a powerful new independent Air Ambulance
service, Awesome Air Evac.
With over 30,000 flight hours of combined air ambulance experience in Africa, the Middle
East and Europe, the team at Awesome Air Evac provides focused, specialised, doctorbased,
ICU fixed-wing air ambulance services to the highest quality standards which include
BARS Gold and ISO 9001: 2008.
The Awesome Air Evac fleet comprises primarily dedicated Learjet air ambulances,
complemented by turboprop options in some regions. The global operations are coordinated
from its Lanseria based 24/7 Call Centre.
Awesome Air Evac has the advantage of leveraging off the FlyAwesome and NAC global
experience and capability in providing aviation operations, with the group operating a fleet of
The advantages of the new service include:
A fully integrated, neutral air ambulance provider.
Access to substantial aviation capacity through FlyAwesome and NAC.
A team with combined experience of over 30 000 hours of pure air ambulance flying.
More than 20 years of operational experience in Hot and Hostile Territories with
strategically deployed mission-ready assets.
Commenting on this exciting new venture, Dieter Ebeling, Executive Chairman of
FlyAwesome said, “Operating Air Ambulances successfully is all about optimal delivery at
every level. With our 20 years’ experience of successfully operating air ambulance flight
missions, our clients and patients will benefit from the most effective aviation solution in the
region providing the highest level of patient care.”
Dr Glenn Staples, Medical Director of Awesome Air Evac ; “This is the start of a very exciting
new service that brings together the best of both the medical and aviation aspects into a high
quality offering. I see a great future ahead for Awesome Air Evac in improving the standard
of aeromedical services across Africa and beyond.”
24/7/365 Operations commenced on 1 July 2016.
For any general enquiries please contact us on:
+27 11 430 1777 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For any flight requests, please contact our 24/7 Flight Desk on:
+27 11 430 1777 or email@example.com
FlyAwesome is jointly held by NAC and the Awesome Aviation Group and provides tailored,
specialized aviation solutions. FlyAwesome is a short and long term ACMI specialist with
over 30 years of experience and a leading air ambulance operator with over 20 years of
experience in the aeromedical evacuation industry.
FlyAwesome’s international operations expertise encompasses away-from-base flight
operations, aircraft maintenance, management and support services. It operates and
manages numerous contracts in the Humanitarian Aid, Oil and Gas, Defence, Mining and
Resources, Telecoms, Power, Regional Airline and Government sectors throughout Africa,
in the Middle East and Australasia.
As the premier African based Air Ambulance Operator, FlyAwesome has completed
thousands of Air Ambulance missions. Its aeromedical flight operations capabilities span the
continent of Africa and its surrounding islands, the Middle-East and Europe.
Air Evacuation Services (AES) offers management of patient transportation services
covering the whole of Africa. Based at Lanseria International Airport in Johannesburg, South
Africa, and utilising dedicated long-range jet air ambulances, AES is capable of flying a wide
range of patients from any location in Africa. With an average dispatch time of two hours,
and flying with flight doctors and flight nurses or paramedics, AES is a safe choice for air
The four core differentiators of AES are:
Uncompromising clinical quality
Reliable dispatch and availability
Transparent dealings with all clients
Lanseria International Airport just outside Johannesburg, South Africa is an international
airport which is open 24/7 with all-weather capability, and therefore poses no hindrance to
the dispatch of a flight at any time. In addition to this, the lack of large commercial airline
traffic at Lanseria ensures that dispatch and landing delays are minimised, and the central
location of Lanseria in Gauteng means that almost all major hospitals can be reached within
45 minutes’ drive of the airport.
For further information contact:
Tertius van Jaarsveld | CEO | FlyAwesome
T +27 11 267 5550
F +27 11 267 5054
M +27 83 300 2584
THE AWESOME AIR EVAC TEAM
Dr Glenn Staples has over 15 years of experience in aeromedical services including the
In excess of 400 fixed wing flight missions.
In excess of 600 HEMS missions.
Establishment and Management of Fixed Wing, HEMS and Helicopter Surf Rescue
Operations across Africa.
10 years of pre-hospital primary response EMS work in Johannesburg (road
Three years Anaesthetics experience.
18 months dedicated ICU experience.
Two years Full-time experience in a Level 1 Trauma Unit.
Previous BLS, ACLS, PALS and APLS Instructor.
MEDICAL FLIGHT CREW
Standard Medical Flight crew for Awesome Air Evac is a Flight Doctor and Flight Nurse or a
Flight Doctor and Flight Paramedic. All of Awesome Air Evac’s medical flight crew have the
following minimum experience/ qualifications:
ACLS and PALS
Pre-hospital EMS experience
On Friday evening, 22 April 2016, one of our Firstroad Accident Responders, became victim to a violent mugging. Wynand Gloy, who works in our East Rand Accident Division, was stabbed multiple times and had his Dreamtec Device taken from him.
The Dreamtec device is a new piece of technology recently deployed throughout our Accident Divisions and soon to be deployed across the Trade Divisions as well. All calls received by the Firstassist Contact Centre are automatically dispatched to the nearest available device to the scene of the Accident and vast amounts of vital information can be captured at the scene onto the device and linked to the case (Pictures, license details, third party drivers & vehicles etc.)
After this incident had happened, the department heads were notified and immediately got our IT department involved to track the unit. Luis Valadao (IT) jumped onto his laptop and started tracking the unit. Through a Whatsapp chat with the Division’s Director, Clint Spolander, Clint was able to feed constant information as to the whereabouts of the unit to our Managers on the road and with a joint effort between them and SAPS, the suspect was apprehended 25 minutes after the incident had occurred.
Whilst this intense technology fueled chase was underway, Wynand was receiving expert medical attention for his injuries on scene and was taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment.
So, thanks to the Dreamtec technology and the fast actions of the Divisional heads, the IT department and the SAPS, we were able to bring a speedy end to what was a terrible incident. We hope the appropriate justice will be served to ensure this person does not commit such crimes in the future.
Well done to all involved and we wish Wynand a speedy recovery. All our thoughts are with him and his family.
Picture 1: Wynand Gloy as he appears on the Dreamtec Application
Picture 2: Wynand receiving medical attention after being stabbed
Picture 3: Real time tracking of the Dreamtec Application using street level mapping to identify the whereabouts of the device
5 April 2016
I am sure some of you have noticed that the mornings are darker (for those that put in a good honest day’s work – none of this 9 to 5 business) and the evenings are drawing in a lot earlier than they were just a few weeks ago before Easter.
We are seeing sunrise at present at around 06h19 and they are predicting in the midst of winter to be around 06h49.
Now, for the diehard’s who still get up at the same time and get a good days work in, we now start using our headlights and when our minds are cold, sleep deprived, caffeine deprived and undergoing all other kinds of trauma, we all too often forget that we have got our headlights on. For those of us not so fortunate and have to manually switch our headlights off this can cause a huge problem and unnecessary stress when it comes to either going out to meetings in the day or to try and get back home in the evening.
You now have to call someone to come and jump-start your car and in peak hour traffic when a lot of other people face the same fate as you, this can often become a lengthy wait. And the more times you do this the more time your battery gets jumped and the quicker the life of the battery will diminish and eventually run out. And then that is another issue you need to contend with – having to swop your battery out in order to get home.
So, good people – remember to do carry out a few mental checks before leaving your car and rushing into the office for that much need cup of java. Maintain your battery and remember to switch your lights off.
Safe travel and happy motoring.
PS: If you do happen to find yourself in a spot with no “juice” in the battery, call us, we will make it simple, easy and stress free.
A report released in 2013 by the International Transport Forum or the ITF, rated South Africa as being ranked the worst country out of the 36 countries that took part in the study, when it came to road deaths per annum.
When they looked at developed countries, Northern United States came out at 10,4 road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants, Australia as low as 5.6 road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants. South Africa was reported, albeit classified as a Developing Country, at 27,6 road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants in 2011. This compared to other developing countries such as Argentina & Columbia at approximately 12 road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants and just behind South Africa was Malaysia at 23,8 road deaths per 100 000 inhabitants.
South Africa was not at this stage an official member of the ITF but was present as an observer and was able to take part in the study which received the data from the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC).
It was also reported that as much as 35% of all road deaths were Pedestrians. This stems from a multitude of causes, from alcohol, to crossing highways where vehicles are travelling too quickly and misjudged by the pedestrian. There has been a lot of efforts from authorities to prevent this where pedestrians caught walking on highways and the shard shoulders in South Africa are now being arrested, fences erected adjacent to common cross over points and pedestrian bridges being built to assist pedestrians to cross safely where they need to.
The costs of these road deaths each year costs South Africa around R300bil. per annum of tax payers money. This number would have increased over the last 2 years since the release of the report. In the last 20 years, statistics show that the number of vehicles on our roads had doubled, and show no signs of decreasing, despite the economy and improved public transport systems such as the Gautrain.
With all these vehicles on the road, we need to be aware and alert when it comes to the pedestrian. All too often, even at pedestrian crossings, vehicles do not slow down and give right of way to the pedestrian. Simply following laws can reduce these senseless deaths we see, respond to and attend to daily.
Being more aware of your surroundings, having a keener sense of observation where you are scanning from near too far and left to right all the time will increase the chance of you seeing a pedestrian and the possibility and risk of them walking into the path of your vehicle. There is no reason for South Africa to be the worst when it comes to Road Deaths – we have all the systems and infrastructure in place. We need to reassess our way of driving – become more patient, more alert, obey laws and traffic signs, and let’s work together as a country to reduce the carnage, save lives and make our roads a safe more accommodating place to be.
Welcome to 2016 and all it has to offer.
Amongst these offerings, we are hoping for some sort of relief from the now prolonged heat wave and ever encroaching drought and all the damage that can bring with it. South Africa needs rain and lots of it.
The thing about not having had rain for such a long time, other than the odd 10 minutes here and there, is that we tend to forget how to drive in rain when it does actually fall. For the most part, the motoring public think that they are able to drive as before and not adjust any of their driving habits or techniques when the rain starts to come down. This is SO wrong. We all have to immediately adjust how we drive when it rains, our following distances and speed for starters.
People just do not realise that everything changes when the roads are wet:
- Break effectiveness
- Tyre grip and road holding
- Stopping distances
All these factors need to be reconfigured in our minds when the rain comes down. Figures have not been confirmed as yet as to what the road deaths were over the Festive Season, but if 2014 is anything to go by which was in excess of 1300 deaths, then we are not looking good. We DO NOT need to contribute any further to this number by not being prepared for the rainy season, whenever that may be. So prepare for it now and be ready;
- Check tyre treads and make sure your tyres are in good condition. If you are unsure of what to look for, visit a tyre specialist who can advise you on whether or not the tread depths are acceptable and safe
- Make sure your breaks are in good working order. Even more so in rain and wet road conditions, you need to be able to stop in time
- Check your wiper blades and make sure you are able to see properly when it rains. If the blades make water streaks across your wind-srceen, they are worn and need to be replaced
But over and above the mechanical checks, we need to check ourselves, and make sure we are able to discipline ourselves to adjust our driving style and drive according to the road and weather conditions;
- Reduce speed
- Increase following distance
- Be visible – headlights on low beam and spot lights if necessary.
- Do NOT use rear fog lights unless absolutely necessary, they are exceptionally bright and can affect the motorists behind you if the weather condition is not actually foggy or in conditionsof heavy rain and poor visibility
Pay attention when overtaking heavy duty vehicles. These truck’s wheels can kick up allot of water spray and can often lead to a large quantity of water being deposited on your windscreen. We also need to pay attention to poor drainage on the roads, where there is poor drainage, large amounts of water can pool on the road and if driven through at high speeds, can lead to “aqua planing” and can result in an accident.
So please ensure you are all fully prepared for when the rain does come, as much as we need it, we need to remain safe and be aware of the perils it brings with it.
For other articles, tips and helpful hints you can also visit www.arrivealive.co.za
As 2015 slowly but surely runs out and the countdown starts to a New Year and a brighter future, we often sit and reflect on what was and what could have been.
But we cannot waste the start of a New Year on dwelling in the past. What was, was and will never change. We can only use the New Year to ensure we do better, learn from what we did wrong, improve on what we did right and grab each new opportunity by the horns. Don’t shy away from risks, but then also know when one isn‘t going to pay off.
Alot of the country is still in holiday mode and we still have the unfortunate exposure to continued road accidents, injuries and deaths. We ask that you please take care, be alert, drive safely and stay alive. Be one of the smart and fortunate ones who get to say “Happy New Year”, who get to enjoy 2016 and who get to see and experience all that it has to offer.
We look forward to being part of what we believe will be a year of challenges, successes, opportunites and victories. We look forward to sharing this year with you all and everything it will offer and present to us.
Make the most of the last few days of 2015 and get ready to rock…get ready to roll…and get ready to have a year like no other.
2016…watch out. We are on our way
December has alwasy been a month where a greater focus has been placed on road fatalities due to the large volumes of traffic on the roads in concentrated periods of time.
If we look at the statsistics presented by Minister Peters last week, we had already reached 487 deaths by the 13th of December.
Last year we saw close to 1400 deaths on our roads over the Festive Season.
If we take these years figures we may see a slight reduction in these numbers but even 1 death on our roads is too much.
We MUST find ways to minimise these tragic occurrences, not just in December but every day of every month of every year.
It is up to us, the driver to be responsible and alert every time we get behind the wheel.
None of us are above the law and we need to ensure we obey all the laws set out as they are there for a very good reason
Do not DRINK and drive
Do not TEXT and drive
Always wear your safety belts (Front and Rear seats)
Do not DRINK and drive
Do not SPEED
Do not SKIP stop streets and red robots
Do not DRINK and drive
Obey all road signs and speeding restrictions
If you are on long trips, REST regularly and do not drive when you are TIRED
Stay ALERT and stay ALIVE