The Association for Rescue Service and Fire Brigade (ZRF) in Germany's Nordoberpfalz region has awarded the contract for the operation of the rescue helicopter Christoph 80 to DRF Luftrettung. The non-profit organisation will continue to operate the red and white machine from Latsch airfield in Weiden for the next five years from 1 April 2021. The assignment will automatically be extended for another five years until March 31, 2031 at the latest if the ZRF Nordoberpfalz does not terminate the contract.
Peter Huber, board member of DRF Luftrettung, is pleased about this expression of confidence in his company: “This shows that our partners in the region recognise and appreciate the outstanding work of our crews here in Weiden. We look forward to being ready with our helicopter for emergency rescue and the fast and gentle transport of seriously ill and injured people in the next few years and thus to make our contribution to emergency medical care in Bavaria.”
Rescue helicopter Christoph 80 operators from dawn until dusk throughout the Bavarian region and was alerted more than 1,200 times last year for often life-saving operations.
On April 1 2021, DRF will also switch to an H145 helicopter. So far, an EC135 has been used in Weiden. “We are very pleased that in the foreseeable future we will also be able to put an H145, the most modern helicopter currently used in air rescue, into operation,” Huber continues. “Just one look into the glass cockpit shows its difference to the previous machine. All flight data, for example on the engines or the flight position, are shown to the pilots on large-format displays.” The four-axis autopilot, which can automatically take over the control functions, also relieves the pilot, while pilots can quickly identify changing weather conditions on the weather radar.
In the cabin, the new interior concept co-developed by DRF Luftrettung offers more space for the crew and is expected to improve patient care, while the Fenestron sheathed tail rotor is quieter and better protects against damage, offering rescue workers more safety on the ground.
DRF Luftrettung put its newly-founded rescue helicopter into operation on 1 April 2011 using an EC135. The Weiden helicopter can reach emergency locations within a radius of 60 km in a maximum of 15 minutes. The area of application for intensive care transports extends to northern Bavaria. In addition, around 20 per cent of the area of operation is in the Czech Republic.