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DRF Luftrettung introduces PAL on H145s
DRF Luftrettung becomes the H145 fleet leader and distributor of HeliMods electro-hydraulic stretcher loading system.
DRF Luftrettung CEO Dr Krystian Pracz and HeliMods md Will Shrapnel at HAI Heli-Expo.
Read this story in our March 2024 printed issue.

Germany-based HEMS operator DRF Luftrettung plans to introduce the Powered Aero Loader (PAL) developed by Australian aerospace technology company HeliMods on its H145 helicopters. The PAL is an electro-hydraulic stretcher loading system operated at the push of a button, which allows rapid loading and unloading of ambulance stretchers into rescue helicopters. Furthermore, both parties are seeking a distribution partnership with the aim of introducing and distributing the PAL on the European market. DRF Luftrettung and HeliMods signed a corresponding letter of intent at HAI Heli-Expo.

For the use of the PAL in Europe, DRF Luftrettung acquired the EASA STC in 2023 in close cooperation with HeliMods. “DRF Luftrettung is cooperating with HeliMods to pave the way for the use of electrohydraulic stretchers in European air rescue. We are convinced of this innovative system, because it not only benefits the patients, but also enables the crews to work even more ergonomically,” explains Dr Krystian Pracz, chief executive officer of DRF Luftrettung.

These advantages were also confirmed by last year’s positive test onboard the H145 DRF Luftrettung helicopter in Stuttgart. Currently, the system is being put through its paces at the 24-hour HEMS base in Regensburg in order to investigate its handling during day and night operations.

“After successful completion of the test, we will be the first provider in European air rescue to use the stretcher and at the same time allow other European operators to participate in this innovation. We would like to thank our partner HeliMods for the trust it has placed in us. In the coming months, we will continue to develop the cooperation, and we are very confident about the further steps in developments,” he concludes.

Will Shrapnel, managing director of HeliMods, adds: “We are extremely proud that DRF Luftrettung is intending to use the PAL for its own fleet and further on wishes to support us in the distribution of this innovative product in Europe. In the end, this letter of intent speaks in favour of the product, especially when it comes from such a renowned and experienced HEMS operator such as DRF Luftrettung. The patient and the crew are always at the forefront of our products, and the system has been very successful in use in Australia and Canada for several years. Our partnership is intended to go far beyond the day-to-day support in the context of the use of the PAL at DRF Luftrettung. We will now work out the next steps together with DRF Luftrettung so that the PAL can be available for operators across Europe.”

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