State Minister Michael Roth and State Secretary Clement Beaune said about the choice of the award winner: “The Covid-19 pandemic hit the greater region on the German-French border very hard. At the height of the crisis in the spring, DRF-Luftrettung and Luxembourg Air Rescue set a strong signal for European solidarity and cross-border co-operation. Under difficult circumstances, the two air rescue services, with great professionalism and strong persona commitment, took over the majority of helicopter transports of French patients to hospitals in Germany and back again. The DRF and LAR not only saved lives in concrete terms, but also made a very important contribution to overcoming the health crisis and strengthening the Franco-German friendship.
This civil society solidarity across borders was particularly important in times of great fears and tensions in the everyday life of the people in the border region. The work of the two rescue airlines has shown in an impressive way the value of the Franco-German friendship. Europe is strong when we can rely on each other and when solidarity is a matter of course for us.
We are pleased that by awarding the Adenauer - De Gaulle Prize 2020 to the DRF and LAR we can honor what we want for Europe: concrete and lively solidarity, cross-border co-operation and strong civil society commitment.”
DRF Luftrettung was also busy during the pandemic, designing a new ground plate to allow for optimum mounting of the EpiShuttle isolation stretchers in its helicopters.
A strong background in emergency healthcare
Founded in 1972 and based in Filderstadt, DRF Luftrettung is one of the largest air rescue organizations in Europe with over 50 helicopters and more than 40,000 missions a year. Luxembourg Air Rescue was created in the late 1980s from a private initiative of dedicated people. In the meantime, LAR has developed into a medium-sized humanitarian company with six rescue helicopters and six ambulance jets.