DRF Luftrettung celebrates 39,965 rescue missions in 2018

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DRF Luftrettung helicopter on a mission. Wikimedia Comms

DRF Luftrettung, which operates 31 HEMS bases in Germany and Austria, is celebrating a landmark, as it reflects upon the 39,965 air rescue missions it flew in 2018 alone.

The almost 40,000 calls that DRF Luftrettung responded to in 2018 corresponded to a four-per-cent rise in air rescue missions compared to the previous year, in addition to a 20-per-cent rise in night missions. The night flight concept at DRF Luftrettung includes their own modified helicopters for flying in the dark, the deployment of two pilots with instrument rating qualifications, a satellite navigation system with a digital map, adherence to special approach profiles as well as the use of night vision goggles (NVGs) and high-intensity search lights.

Dr Peter Huber, Chairman of DRF Luftrettung, noted that all pilots are provided with extensive training, including the use of NVGs and the operation of new helicopter types, and expanded upon the company’s focus on night-time rescues: “Our aim and our conviction is to further promote development in this area. DRF Luftrettung makes a considerable contribution to the fact that people in Germany receive the fastest possible medical care at any time of the day or night and are transported to a suitable hospital.” Indeed, with serious injuries from accidents and acute heart conditions being the most common cause for call-outs day and night, these services are essential to the community.

The DRF Luftrettung’s ambulance jet aircraft are manned with experienced crews. They were alerted for 300 missions and dispatched to 48 countries in 2018. Worldwide patient transportation and rescue is co-ordinated and dispatched by their own Alert Center at the Karlsruhe/Baden-Baden International Airport, where the aircraft are also based.

It's so important that HEMS providers recognise the importance of 24/7 air medical services, as these services can often be the difference between life and death for patients – be it night or day.  Keep up the good work DRF Luftrettung.

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