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The Rural Emergency Responder Network (RERN) is unique to South Australia.

Rural doctors nominate to carry an ambulance pager and be available to support country ambulance services (many of which are volunteer-crews in the country).

RERN doctors undertake regular upskilling and audit of cases. They are paid under a fee-for-service by the SA Department of Health and equipped with prehospital bags to allow interventions such as prehospital anaesthesia and analgesia.


The UK has the British Association for Immediate Care Scheme (BASICS); New Zealand as Primary Response in Medical Emergencies (PRIME) – both smaller countries without the ‘tyranny of distance’. Come on – if the Poms and Kiwis can do it, surely we can in Oz?

Here’s a presentation on RERN and prehospital medicine from a rural perspective from the smacc 2013 conference – basic concept is to have a system of appropriately equipped and trained rural responders, akin to BASICS


You can access a powerpoint with slides from the talk here :

SMACC 2013 – Leeuwenburg





  1. […] RERN members and those interested in improving resus skills attended a post-course session facilitated by Dr Hugh Grantham and Ms Chris Wilson, utilising the local hospital resus room and involving local nurses. Participants completed four challenging scenarios […]

  2. […] Rob’s colour-coded drug vials made me re-visit the contents of my own RERN kit (rural emergency responder network) and do a little labelling & re-ordering of near expired […]

  3. […] Australia has an embryonic scheme, RERN (Rural Emergency Responder Network), utilising experienced rural doctors to respond to prehospital […]

  4. […] course in South Australia we have the RERN system, designed to ‘value add’ in specific cases, typically where local (mostly volunteer) […]

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I am a Rural Doctor on Kangaroo Island, South Australia with interests in EM, Anaes & Trauma. I am an Ass/Prof in Aeromedical Retrieval with Charles Darwin University and hold senior specialist (retrieval) positions in NT and QLD Avid user & creator of #FOAMed; EMST & ATLS Director, Instruct & Direct on; faculty for Critically Ill Airway course and smaccAIRWAY workshops. Opinions expressed on these sites must not be used to make decisions about individual health related matters or clinical care as medical details vary from one case to another. Reader is responsible for checking information inc drug doses etc.

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