Alpine Helicopter EMS

CoROM is airborne.

CoROM is pleased to announce that it will be offering the Alpine Helicopter Emergency Services (AHEMS) course with immediate effect.

The Union Internationale des Associations d’Alpinism (UIAA), International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), and International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM) approved CoROM to conduct the helicopter rescue specialty course under the diploma in mountain medicine (DiMM) regulations course endorsement.

The AHEMS course, combined with Alpine Flight Crew Emergency Survival Training (AFCEST), is an intensive 53-hour program designed to equip healthcare professionals with the skills and knowledge required for alpine helicopter rescue operations. The comprehensive curriculum covers many topics, including:

  • Personal protective equipment
  • Low hover exit/entry
  • Air regulations
  • Crew resource management
  • Human external cargo (HEC) insertion/extraction
  • Post-crash survival training

There is a strong focus on practical experience through simulated environments and real-life flight training. The CoROM AHEMS course meets or exceeds the regulations shown in Curriculum B below.

The AHEMS course is uniquely structured to span Cape Town and Johannesburg, South Africa, allowing participants to experience diverse terrain, aerial platforms, and rescue skills. The course instructors include physicians, pilots, paramedics, mountain guides, and mountain rescuers from South Africa and Europe.

Course Details

The AHEMS course typically runs over five days, with two days in Cape Town, and three days in Johannesburg. There is also a 10 hour online instructor-led component that must be completed before arriving for the practical component.

The course fee includes:

  • AHEMS online and practical components.
  • Helicopter ground school in Cape Town.
  • Helicopter flight-time.
  • Two nights hotel accommodation in Johannesburg and two nights in Cape Town. One night is spent on overnight wilderness survival training.
  • Breakfast, light lunch, and dinner. Beverages are excluded except for water and soft drinks during training.
  • All internal ground travel for the duration of the course.
  • Local flights between Johannesburg and Cape Town.
  • Course textbook (Helicopter Rescue Techniques – Rob Thomas).

The course fee per person is €4,500.00 per person. There is no application fee but places on the course are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.


The AHEMS course is currently scheduled to run in February 2024. Typically, Day 1 is a Monday.

Ad hoc courses can be run for groups of 8 or more. Please contact CoROM for details.

Please note the itinerary is subject to change at short notice as helicopter flight time is influenced by weather and operational requirements. For the sake of brevity not all skills are listed below, please refer to the DiMM regulations document above for details.

Please note that these are long days (10+ hours) with an overnight sleep in the mountains (survival gear provided).

In addition to the practical training, there is also 8 hours of required online, instructor-led sessions. This is broken up into two 4-hour sessions.

Day 0 Arrive in Cape Town, check in to hotel.
Day 1Introductions, heli ground school and recap of safety around aircraft.
Aircraft ground operations. Placeholder for HEC circuits.
Day 2Aircraft ground operations. Placeholder for HEC circuits. Transfer to Johannesburg.
Day 3Safety recap and intro to new aircraft types.
Dry runs for heli abseil and load transfer systems.
Overnight survival (sleeping in the wild).
Technical rescue exercises.
Day 4HEC Circuits
Patient scenarios
Load transfer systems
Day 5Half-day. Course conclusion.

Travel Arrangements

While in-country during the course all travel arrangements (including JHB-CT and return if needed) are catered for.

Travel to the start and travel from the end of the course is for students own account. CoROM highly recommends African Angel Tours to make international flight and travel arrangements, especially if participants would like to extend their stay in Africa. African Angel Tours has negotiated preferential rates for course participants.


Participants must be certified as a medical doctor/physician, nurse, or advanced life support practitioner (paramedic) in any country to receive the AHEMS certificate. Those who are not trained at an advanced level such as EMTs, mountain rescuers, and other first responders may still participate but will only receive a certificate of attendance.

Participants should be active mountaineers and comfortable with work at height. Participants must be well-versed in managing personal safety at height. Participants should also be proficient with doffing and donning helmets and harnesses. Participants should ensure that they are medically and physically fit to participate in human external cargo operations which can require sitting in a harness for prolonged periods.

Participants should preferably also be registered on a DiMM course to receive credit for the AHEMS module. Please consult with your DiMM training organization as to what their requirements are.

However, participants do not have to be registered on a DiMM to attend the course.

All personal protective equipment will be provided such as helmet, eye pro (over glasses available), ear pro (over-the-ear and in-the-ear), gloves, harness (sit or full-body), cow’s tail (safety lanyards), and carabiners. Participants are welcome to bring their own equipment but it’s use is subject to passing a safety inspection and being appropriate for the training environment.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

No refunds will be issued for cancellations made within 60 days of the course commencement.

Cancellations between 60 and 89 days before course commencement will receive a 50% refund.

Cancellation between 90 and 119 days before course commencement will receive a 75% refund.

Cancellations 120 days or more are subject to a €500 cancellation fee.

We recommend that all participants and applicants obtain travel or cancellation insurance. It is your responsibility to ensure you have appropriate insurance for cancellations.

The refund policy is dictated by the costs associated with course preparation, pre-booking accommodations, and securing deposits for resources such as mountain guides or subject matter experts. CoROM cannot absorb any losses.

If a course is cancelled or postponed by CoROM before commencement of the course, participants will have the option of a full refund. CoROM is however not responsible for any non-refundable travel arrangements. If a course is cancelled or interrupted during the course, participants will be entitled to a pro-rata refund that will be calculated at the time of the cancellation. Participants will still receive credit for the portion of the course completed.

Acknowledgement of Risk

The training undertaken on the AHEMS course is inherently dangerous and there is a real risk of severe bodily injury or death. Although reasonable care will be taken, inherent risks remain, and course participants will be required to sign multiple waivers with CoROM as well as its training, travel, and aircraft providers. Copies of these waivers are available in advance should you wish to review them, however alterations will not be accepted.

Participants are not compelled to partake in activities that they deem too risky, but course credit may be withheld if an activity is not completed.

Contact Us

Please email CoROM at with any questions.