The DRF Group with its headquarters in Filderstadt, Germany, one of the largest air rescue organizations in Europe, reported its statistics from 2019, which includes carrying out a total of 40,738 missions from 35 HEMS bases. The crews at 13 of the 35 stations in Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein are on standby 24/7, and seven HEMS bases provide helicopters with rescue winches. Last year, a total of 22 per cent of the deployments at the 13 24/7 HEMS bases took place during the night hours.
The Austrian ARA Flugrettung with two HEMS bases was integrated into the DRF Group in 2001, and the Northern HeliCopter GmbH (NHC), which provides air and water rescue services, was acquired in 2019. Today, DRF is supported by well over 400,000 sponsors.
DRF explains its air rescuers managed to reach the high level of the previous year with an average of 111 alarms per day. The emergency crews were particularly frequently called to provide medical care for severe issues with the heart, such as heart attacks or neurological incidents. In addition, patients involved in accidents also needed the immediate assistance of the air rescuers, explains DRF, who are able to reach rescue sites within a radius of 60 kilometres within 15 minutes of flight. Most of the accident victims treated were injured in traffic accidents or falls.
“Our credo is to continually improve our work for the benefit of our patients. That is why we pushed ahead with our fleet expansion last year: in addition to three ultra-modern helicopters of the types H135 and H145, we also put a new Lear 35 A ambulance jet into operation,” said Dr. Krystian Pracz, chairman of the executive board at DRF Luftrettung. “Many of our HEMS bases will celebrate anniversaries next year, which also shows that we have enjoyed great trust at many locations for years and have become an indispensable element of fast emergency care, both locally and nationwide.”