South Africa

Acsa satisfied by response to medical emergency at OR Tambo despite claims of ‘shocking service’ by Pappas

Airports Company SA (Acsa) has defended its response to a medical emergency at OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) after receiving criticism from uMngeni mayor Chris Pappas.

On Wednesday, Pappas claimed an elderly woman need medical attention but emergency calls were unanswered and paramedics took too long to respond.

OR Tambo International Airport Regional General Manager Jabu Khambule on Saturday disputed Pappas’s claims.

Medical emergency at OR Tambo airport

Khambule said two calls were received at 12:09 and 12:10 to report the elderly woman’s emergency. He claimed paramedics arrived at 12:16, which he added is confirmed by CCTV footage.

He added that the passenger was treated by the paramedics on scene, then at the airport clinic before being transferred to ARWYP Medical Centre in Kempton Park.

“These facts contradict the version of events posted by Mr. Pappas,” said Khambule.

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Claims by Chistopher Pappas disputed

Despite Pappas’s concerns, Khambule said the airport’s response to the medical emergency was efficient.

“We can confirm that the response time under the service level agreement between Acsa and the paramedics is 10 minutes, and this emergency was responded to in seven minutes from the time of the initial call made by the Airlink boarding agent and six minutes from the recorded call of Mr. Pappas.

“In view of these facts, the airport management team at ORTIA is satisfied that the incident was responded to efficiently and effectively and in line with the protocols and procedures in place,” said Khambule.

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The airport’s general manager added that Acsa has a contract with a medical emergency company to respond to these types of incidents, which adheres to global standards and practices.

Acsa also apologised to bystanders who were traumatised by witnessing the medical emergency take place at the airport.

“We would like to apologise to our passengers and customers for any discomfort this may have caused,” it said.

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