Change the world



Twenty-five first year Bachelor in Emergency Medical Care (EMC) students are raising funds to cover the expenses of organising this year’s “Vasbyt” event, aimed at preparing first-years for the adverse conditions in which they may work as paramedics.

Vasbyt” is an Afrikaans term meaning “Hang in there”.

This year, the event, which forms part of the first-year BEMC syllabus, will be held from 16 to 18 June in the Grahamstown/ Alexandria area in the Eastern Cape.

In line with the type of work paramedics are faced with, the purpose of this 36-hour endurance event is to put to the test both the students’ physical and mental capabilities over extreme terrains and under challenging situations.

“Part of a paramedic’s education is learning the importance of being physically ready for whatever comes their way,” said Head of the Emergency Medical Care Department, Nico Louw.

Last year, the students spent two days rowing, swimming, hiking and climbing in the area from Gamtoos River to Lady’s Slipper Mountain in the Eastern Cape, to locate two “missing patients”.

The event gets tougher each year – with second, third and fourth-year students carrying out similar endurance exercises over longer periods of time.

Costs of accommodation and transport for Vasbyt are high, hence the need to raise funds.

The students have approached the medical sector for financial assistance – but are also appealing to the public to support this critical practical training which will help them on their journey to becoming fully-fledged paramedics.

All first year students are obliged to partake in the event as a requirement of the Physical Preparedness I module offered in the course – and they have to raise the funds themselves.

They currently have a raffle sale ending on 29 May.

The winner of this raffle competition will receive the prize of a sponsored weekend away.

The students have also committed to ‘skud blik’ (shake tins) for money at certain intersections in Port Elizabeth on Saturdays, including tomorrow (21 May).

These students can be supported at the following intersections:

  • Group 1: 8- 10 a.m. on the corner of Main Rd & William Moffet, Walmer.
  • Group 2: 9- 11 a.m. on the corner of 3rd Ave & Heugh Rd, Walmer.
  • Group 3: 9- 11 a.m. on the corner of Strandfontein Rd & 2nd Ave, Summerstrand.
  • Group 4: 10 a.m. – 12p.m. on the corner of Marine Drive & La Roche, Summerstrand.

For more information on Vasbyt, visit To buy a raffle ticket for R10, contact Richard van der Merwe on 061 465 8885.

Contact information
Mr Nico Louw
Head of Department
Tel: 041 504 2964