Advocacy for Resuscitation Research Education Science & Training Collaboration

The EMSSA ARREST Collaboration is a science, education, advisory, research and advocacy platform. This subgroup is committed towards improving and developing emergency care in South Africa, and endeavours to support and advocate the activities of EMSSA.

The intent of this initiative is to establish a neutral, transparent and inclusive South African resuscitation collaborative group, that seeks to include all stakeholders, inter alia training organisations, academic and clinical institutions (private and government), and commercial role-players. This platform would seek to advance and encourage research, education and training, development, lobbying and advocacy around resuscitation matters in South Africa. This idea has been in development for some time and we are thrilled to now initiate this multidisciplinary EMSSA sub-group which aims to collaborate with like-minded organisations to ultimately increase awareness around evidence-based best-practice in resuscitation. By synergising our advocacy efforts, and working together under the same collaborative umbrella body, we will concentrate our labours and grow into a credible and effective organisation with more potential than other groups to lobby effectively for development and change in resuscitation issues. The ultimate goal as we combine our efforts is to make a concerted difference to broad resuscitation outcomes in our region.



The objectives of the EMSSA ARREST Collaboration are:

Under the aegis of EMSSA,

  1. To promote and improve emergency care through teaching, research and education
  2. To advocate for emergency care in South Africa
  3. To generate funding for the accomplishment of the above
  4. To create an inclusive, broadly representative multidisciplinary forum of South African resuscitation experts and role-players, including academic and healthcare           establishments, and commercial role-players who influence resuscitation in some   way or another
  5. To actively support local research into resuscitation
  6. To lobby on behalf of members of the EMSSA and the ARREST Collaboration for the promotion of and maintenance of resuscitation standards and guidelines
  7. To work in collaboration with other organisations to proactively encourage and support teaching, research and education of emergency care, regardless of location or research and education of emergency care, regardless of             location or affiliation, to the benefit of emergency resuscitation in South Africa
  8. To create an accreditation registry database for resuscitation resources in South Africa
  9. To publish formal position statements in regard to resuscitation matters
  10. To present regular CPD sessions countrywide on resuscitation topics
  11. To be regarded as an expert resource for opinion on resuscitation matters
  12. To endorse and encourage the development of locally relevant, nationally standardised, comprehensive evidence-based South African resuscitation       guidelines, via an inclusive group of reviewers, researchers and experts
  13. To endorse and be regarded as the custodian of minimum and best-practice standards for resuscitation practice in SA
  14. To lobby government / regulatory bodies and to assist via strong advocacy campaigns, to propose and implement mandatory, legislated best-practises in

resuscitation, in both the public and private environments

  1. To contribute to standardised evidence-based guideline development
  2. To liaise with international resuscitation organisations on matters of research, training and development.


All health care professionals with active involvement in emergency care and resuscitation are eligible for membership of the EMSSA ARREST Collaboration upon completion of a membership form and payment of the required annual membership fee. Prospective members must first join EMSSA to be eligible for subgroup membership.

In the interests of legitimacy, academic credibility, transparency and capacity, the ARREST Collaboration – as a subgroup of EMSSA, will be managed by appointees from the EMSSA management committee, and ex officio representatives from the major professional societies and institutions, including AFEM, College of Medicine of SA (representing all the academic HODs of relevant medical schools), EMSSA, ENSSA, ECSSA, CCSSA, and TSSA. Members may also be co-opted onto the management committee. This will guarantee a sustainable, multidisciplinary inclusive association, creating a broad platform for all role-players.


The activities of the ARREST Collaboration will revolve around various discipline-specific Task Forces. These working groups, akin to organisations around the world, will drive research, position statements, and advocacy initiatives, by encouraging collaboration and input from all stakeholders. The ARREST Collaboration will arrange regular symposia and an annual conference, to showcase and communicate the Task Force efforts in terms of local and international resuscitation science, education and advocacy initiatives. With such a wealth of resuscitation expertise and experience in our country, it seems ludicrous that we have not properly consulted and harnessed this energy and potential previously. Resuscitation is practised every day in South Africa, and via this collaboration, we intend to promote and advocate for best practise and contribute to new knowledge. We hope to ultimately improve clinical care.


The phoenix has been adopted as the logo for this newly launched EMSSA subgroup. The ancient myth of the Phoenix speaks to the themes of renewal and rebirth; the flying flames of the phoenix are a metaphor for the Sun, the spark of life, something essential for existence, which dies at night and is reborn in morning. Early Christian tradition adopted the phoenix as a symbol of both immortality & resurrection.

As the legend goes, the phoenix is able to reproduce itself. It lives on frankincense and odoriferous gums and when it has lived 500 years, it builds itself a nest in the branches of an oak, or atop a palm tree, and here collects cinnamon, spikenard and myrrh, and of with these builds a pile on which it lies to die, breathing out its last breath amidst these odours. From the body of the parent bird, a young phoenix rises.

Thus, according to legend, the phoenix consumed itself by fire every 500 years, and a new, young phoenix sprang from its ashes. That is a fitting metaphor for resuscitation – it’s about reanimation and renewal. The ARREST Collaboration espouses advocacy, research and education in resuscitation, thus to offer a chance of new life. That is both an awesome responsibility and indeed a privilege. The EMSSA ARREST Collaboration has been borne. Join us if you share this vision and want to contribute.

Mr Martin Botha

On behalf of the ARREST Collaboration Steering Committee