DRF Luftrettung cfo Dr Hans Jörg Eyrich has revealed that in the months ahead the German air rescue operator will be putting one of the latest generation helicopters into service, an EC145 T2: “This type of helicopter, which is also ideal for night flight operations, is excellently suited for air rescue missions thanks to its performance capability and the Fenestron,” he says.
“It is particularly useful in night rescue missions because the shrouded tail rotor provides a further measure of safety.”
In addition, DRF Luftrettung will put a Learjet 45 into service in the next few weeks. “The modern jet will be used only for worldwide repatriations and it is optimally equipped for the care of intensive care patients,” comments Eyrich.
These additions follow on from the release of DRF's half-yearly mission statistics, which show that the company has performed 18,714 air rescue missions in the first six months of this year. Rescues include motorbike accidents, strokes, and the assistance of seriously injured children. It is on duty every day with its helicopters and ambulance aircraft.
Helicopter missions fly from 31 HEMS bases in Germany, Austria and Denmark.
In Germany, DRF was alerted to 17,258 missions during the first six months of the year, while the Danish HEMS base of Ringsted, which is operated by Falck DRF Luftambulance A/S, was alerted 286 times. In the same period the two Austrian rescue helicopters of the ARA-Flugrettungs GmbH, which belongs to DRF Luftrettung, were much in demand, too – the crews in Reutte, Tyrol, and Fresach, Carinthia, performed 893 missions altogether.
In the field of worldwide ambulance flights, DRF Luftrettung together with Luxembourg Air Rescue (LAR) conducted 277 repatriations under the name of European Air Ambulance. These repatriation flights were coordinated by the respective alert centres at the airports of Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden and Luxembourg.
“The half-yearly report shows that air rescue in Germany is gaining more and more importance,” Eyrich says. “In a medical emergency, every minute counts. Our rescue helicopters are used to bringing the emergency physician to the scene of the accident and transporting patients to suitable hospitals. Today, every third emergency patient has to be transported to a hospital by helicopter.
“For several years the German health system has been undergoing structural changes, for example a specialisation of clinics. Our helicopter can cover wide distances fast and therefore has a crucial advantage in providing the patients with an optimal treatment, especially in rural areas.”
In total, approximately 700 emer-gency physicians, 300 paramedics, 160 pilots and 80 technicians are on duty for DRF Luftrettung.