In 2014, European air ambulance company DRF Luftrettung achieved a total of 37,811 missions from its 30 HEMS bases in Germany and Austria, including worldwide repatriations with its ambulance aircraft.
Within Germany, DRF Luftrettung flew a total of 35,368 HEMS missions. Apart from heart attacks, strokes and accidents were the most frequent reasons for alerts. Fourteen percent of the emergency helicopter missions were related to car accidents alone. In addition to emergency rescue alerts, 23 percent of German-wide missions involved intensive care transports between clinics, e.g. caring for patients with respiratory distress syndrome or patients suffering from specific heart illnesses.
Photo courtesy DRF Luftrettung, by Marcus Heinz
At its two HEMS bases in Austria, ARA Flugrettung, which belongs to DRF Luftrettung, flew 1,700 missions. Operations in mountainous areas were frequent, especially in the tourist-heavy seasons in summer and winter. The helicopters, based in Tyrol and Carinthia, are equipped with a cable winch, which is essential for rescue operations in alpine terrain.
In the field of world-wide ambulance flights, DRF Luftrettung together with the LAA (Luxembourg Air Ambulance) repatriated 743 injured or seriously ill patients (2014: 677) to their home countries under the name of EAA (European Air Ambulance).
DRF Luftrettung has resigned from the EAA (European Air Ambulance) at the end of 2014. The EAA was founded as a joint marketing-organization of DRF Luftrettung and Luxembourg Air Ambulance (LAA) in 2008 to offer medical repatriations for insurance companies on the international market. Since January 2015, DRF Luftrettung has been conducting ambulance flights only for its sponsoring members.
DRF Luftrettung will soon put its first EC 145 T2 helicopter into official service at its HEMS base in Munich. This represents a milestone in modernizing the DRF Luftrettung fleet, since this type of helicopter will be delivered to further HEMS bases in Bavaria in 2015 as well. The EC 145 T2 is well-suited to air rescue missions, due to its performance capability and Fenestron shrouded tail rotor. Particularly in night rescue missions, the shrouded tail rotor provides a further measure of safety. DRF Luftrettung was the first operator in the world to take delivery of the EC 145 T2 last year. The medical-technical equipment was installed at the aircraft maintenance facility of DRF Luftrettung at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden Airport. Bucher Leichtbau AG, ADAC Luftrettung and DRF Luftrettung have created an innovative interior compartment concept for helicopters of the type EC 145 T2. This new medical interior concept was applied for the first time and provides advantages in patient care and security in the helicopter. It was realized for worldwide HEMS deployment and is also offered to international customers.
Related: EMS News