Emergency operations and patient transfers will now be possible in the late evening, if patients with a stroke, heart attack or severe injuries cannot be admitted to the nearest clinic due to capacity reasons.
"We are happy that the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of the Interior is supporting this project, especially in the currently tense coronavirus situation," praised Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Air Rescue.
The flights after sunset approved for the winter half-year 2021/2022 are part of a nationwide initiative by ADAC Air Rescue, which aims to significantly improve the rescue service from the air by extending the deployment times into the evenings.
The test phase with Christoph 22, which is scientifically supported by the Ulm Bundeswehr Hospital as part of a civil-military project with ADAC Air Rescue, is intended to demonstrate the chances of so-called demand-based extension of marginal times in the rescue service.
Improvement in emergency care
Alerting them by 20:00 hrs means a significant improvement in emergency medical care in the region. So far, rescue helicopters have only been used from sunrise to sunset in most regions. The rescue flights are technically possible in the dark thanks to special night vision goggles. They are part of a Night Vision Imaging System (NVIS).
The Ulm crew has received intensive training over the past few weeks for the NVIS operations. The ADAC rescue helicopter, which is one of the most modern machines, was equipped at the same time with an additional headlight to better illuminate the scene.
The ADAC rescue helicopter is ready for take-off in around two minutes during the day; in the case of NVIS alarms, one or two more minutes are required before take-off for safety reasons in order to obtain the necessary weather data. The helicopter then takes the emergency doctor and paramedic to the patient as quickly as possible.
Landing is also more careful than during the day and takes a little more time. The aim of the scientific support is to check in which situations it makes sense to use the rescue helicopter even after dark, despite the somewhat increased time requirement.
Meanwhile, Irish Air Corps, based at Casement Aerodome, Baldonnel Co. Dublin, Ireland, recently continued additional NVIS training with Aviation Specialties Unlimited.