German air rescue provider DRF Luftrettung held a ceremony on 13 June to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its first rescue. The event, attended by 400 invited guests including politicians, hospital and health insurance staff, also marked the official opening of the newly built operation centre at Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden airport.
The new building, which includes a maintenance hangar with 11 bays, offers optimal conditions for efficiently repairing DRF Luftrettung’s fleet of Eurocopters and Learjets, said the company. With the new facility, DRF Luftrettung has expanded its capacities for technical and flight operations training and continuing education programmes.
Opening the event, Helmut Nanz, chairman of DRF Luftrettung’s supervisory board, reflected on the organisation’s progress, saying that it has completed over 700,000 missions over the past 40 years, and that its red and white helicopters perform over 100 missions each day.
Looking to the future, DRF Luftrettung said starting in 2014, it will begin incorporating the latest generation EC145 T2 helicopter into its fleet, replacing its Bell 412 and BK117 helicopters. Starting this summer, the company will also be using a new Learjet 45 air ambulance plane for the repatriation of patients worldwide.