Special Interest Groups (SIGs)


A number of SIGs exist currently in ECSSA. Each SIG is lead by an ECSSA member who was responsible for establsihing the SIG. A SIG may be established to allow Society members with common interests to communicate, exchange ideas and develop programmes to further the advancement, support and awareness of their common interest. SIGs may also be requested by the Board of Directors or a Committee to contribute towards the creation of documents, white papers, guidelines, position statements or other outputs related to their area of interest.

Medico-legal Practice in Pre-hospital Emergency Care SIG
Quality and Informatics SIG
Rescue Matters SIG
Emergency Care Research & Development SIG
Critical care and Transport SIG

Medico-Legal Practice in Pre-hospital Emergency Care SIG


This Special Interest Group (SIG) has been established with the fundamental aim of representing the medico-legal interests of the pre-hospital emergency care profession. Ethics in general have become a growing concern in medical practice across the board. Although this is indeed a positive development, it is needless to say that the prevalence of private lawsuits- and disciplinary inquiry processes by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) against registered health professionals is on the rise.

As the old saying goes” knowledge is power” and this in turn is a core objective of this SIG i.e. developing and providing training and education on the medico-legal aspects of pre-hospital emergency medical care. It goes one step further, as the SIG also intends to actually contribute to the development of improved legal guidelines that could create better legal certainty for emergency care workers facing ethical challenges in the practice of their profession. The latter approach is intended to minimise the number and extent of “legal grey areas” that exist within the emergency care profession as a whole.

In addition to producing relevant opinions and position statements on current medico-legal issues in the field of emergency care, the SIG also plans to undertake specific campaigns to further its aim, goals and objectives in the interest of the South African EMS community. The following campaigns are being devised at the moment:


For more information, contact the SIG leader Victor Voorendyk.

Quality and Informatics SIG


The Quality and Informatics SIG has as its focus two aspects of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems that are inextricably linked together: quality improvement and information management. Health care quality is difficult to define, but is generally concerned with the degree to which a a health care system improves health outcomes and functions in a way that is in agreement with current professional practice. This SIG will initially concentrate on two important areas of quality, performance indicators and performance measurement, as well as clinical governance in EMS.

If the measurement of EMS system performance is crucial in steering efforts aimed at quality assessment and improvement, then clearly no serious attempt at either of these can succeed without a robust and reliable information management system. This applies to both operational information and clinical information, which together can provide the basis necessary for appropriate levels of EMS control, quality and governance.

The objectives of the Quality and Informatics SIG are:


For more information, contact the SIG leader Chris Stein.

Rescue Matters SIG


The art and science of Rescue is developing and progressing on a daily basis. Different scenarios, where victims need to be rescued, present themselves in the most creative ways imaginable. To be able to conduct a rescue proficiently demands a slick combination of knowledge, psychomotor skills and practical experience. Within the framework of knowledge lies the challenge for individuals to stay current and informed of global best practises which are carefully integrated into the South African context. This SIG will invite individuals with a keen interest in the developing world of rescue to join the group and share their knowledge and expertise, allowing topics to be debated, with the aim of ensuring that the next rescue is conducted in the best possible way.

The objectives of the Rescue Matters SIG are:


For more information, contact the SIG leader Nico Louw.

Emergency Care Research and Development SIG


This SIG aims to promote, support and develop emergency medical care research in South Africa. Area of interest include:

The objectives of the Research and Development SIG are:


For more information, contact the SIG leaders Mike McCaul or Willem Stassen.

Critical Care and Transport SIG


Critical care transfer is a developing profession with high acuity cases becoming more frequent. Although a young profession it has made great steps forward in patient management and clinical structures. Critical care transfers are often complex and involve specialised knowledge and experience separate from the challenges of the prehospital environment. To perform a safe critical care transfers practitioners need to rely on a comprehensive knowledge of many aspects of patient care including pathologies, pharmacology, interpretation of diagnostics results, and equipment operations. The Critical Care and Transport SIG aims to equip these practitioners with this knowledge and to create a platform for discussion.

The objectives of the Critical care and Transport SIG are:


For more information, contact the SIG leader Nathan Conradie.



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