ADAC Luftrettung extends operating hours

The H145 helicopter, 'Christoph 77', on the roof of the Hospital Johannes-Gutenberg-Universitat-Mainz. Photo credit: Peter Pulkowski

A trial scheduled to last until mid-2022 will see he ADAC Luftrettung base at the University Medical Center in Mainz, Germany, remain in operation until 22:00 hrs, meaning that local communities can receive improved access to medical care from sunrise to sunset.

The night operations will be performed by ‘Christoph 77’ – a rescue helicopter complete with a modern intensive care unit. Last year, Christoph 77 was deployed to 1336 missions. With the new trial, H145 aircraft will be able to operate from 06:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs in the summer months (between April and September), and from 07:00 hrs to 22:00 hrs in the winter months.

"Our helicopters have the technology and our pilots the know-how to provide people in emergency situations with life-saving help from the air in the evenings," explains Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH. He added that the increased operating hours would ‘significantly improve emergency medical care in the region, regardless of place of residence or time of day’.

The dusk rescue flights will be aided by night vision goggles – costing approximately €11,000 a pair, the glasses form part of the state-of-the-art night-vision imaging system that allows the pilot to take off and land with ease in minimal light conditions.

In addition to the pilot, the entire crew will consist of an emergency doctor, a paramedic and an emergency paramedic specialising in night flights that will be on board after sunset.