Northcott Global Solutions (NGS) provides international emergency response for global clients and insurance companies. We asked them, outside of the US and Europe, which countries kept them busiest last year, and what kind of cases did they have to deal with?
As one of the more productive parts of Africa, Kenya has more business travellers, which inevitably drives a high number of cases. Kidnap, muggings, car jackings and corruption cases have all featured here, on top of the daily business of medical care. Road traffic accidents and everyday illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes are all part of the case load.
Medical issues here ranged from toothache and appendicitis, to a serious complication with a pregnancy. There was the sad case of a suicide requiring full repatriation. NGS provided a security meet and greet service for a high net worth client travelling to meetings. And there were a number of yacht-related cases, getting crew off boats and into trusted medical facilities – and back onto their yachts again, where appropriate, with minimal disruption.
The major cities here have first-rate medical facilities, but doctors were sent out to people requiring attention in more remote areas, and there were numerous Air Ambulance cases. The firm provided a medical review service for a number of cases to ensure they had received proper treatment. NGS also provided a 10-day close protection detail for a VIP travelling to a funeral in Hyderabad.
Many oil and gas clients are situated in remote locations in Liberia, without full medical capability on hand. NGS provided doctors at client sites for minor and major medical incidents. The company was also called upon to provide additional security professionals to enhance protection during a period of local unrest, when it was felt a client facility might be at risk.
NGS was tasked with a search and rescue operation when a team of geologists disappeared in a remote area; NGS recovered the team unharmed two days later. The company regularly advised on kidnap and ransom risks and provided armed security for clients carrying out work across the country. It supported F1 teams during the Grand Prix and provided evacuation assistance for clients caught up in dangerous situations caused by adverse weather conditions.
When road blockages caused by severe weather left Hydro Plant personnel cut off for days in a remote location, NGS dispatched aircraft to evacuate them to the capital. Amidst anti-government protests in November 2019, the firm delivered an emergency risk assessment to a client involved in a rural development project, so they could make an accurate judgement call on whether to deploy.
Another high activity area for NGS has seen many operations involving deployment of maritime assets to aid vessels servicing the major shipping routes of the Gulf. A notable case on the mainland involved NGS arranging Air Ambulance evacuation of an Iraqi critical care patient with a terminal prognosis to a medical facility in his home country, so he could be with his loved ones.
Most NGS activity here is medical, involving individual travellers, luxury yachts and cruise ships. Other cases included round-the-clock security for a film crew and its equipment. Support for clients at mining sites involved security/logistics planning and kidnap and ransom risk assessments for senior executives and geologists.
9. South Africa
Johannesburg and Cape Town have some of the best medical facilities in the world, but charities and businesses operating in the regions often need support. This includes independent medical examinations (IMEs) to review the quality or cost of treatment. Support for a number of school rugby and hockey tours and a religious exchange also resulted in emergency medical cases.
Illness and accidents required a number of medical repatriations to centres of excellence outside the region. A lone female business traveller from a law organisation was provided with round the clock security. Much recent activity has been in scenario planning for six different clients, readying extraction plans for thousands of personnel, should tensions in the region escalate to a higher threat.
With the lure of the Amazon Rainforest, Macchu Picchu, and the Inca Trail, NGS provided an immediate response to numerous bites, fevers, and falls amongst adventure travellers and backpackers. When two patients were admitted to hospital with gunshot wounds, NGS provided full medical case management, in conjunction with the treating facility. The company simultaneously provided a 24-hour armed security detail at the hospital, giving their employer the reassurance that they would be safe as they started their recovery.
Northcott Global Solutions (NGS) is a leading Global Emergency Assistance Company, helping insurers and corporate clients to protect employees abroad.