Deutsche Rettungsflugwacht e.V.–German Air Rescue (DRF), headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, has been specializing in airborne emergency care and medical aid for more than 30 years. Founded by the Björn Steiger Foundation in 1972, DRF has become one of the leading air rescue services in Europe, providing both primary (emergency) and secondary (patient transport) rescue service from 32 bases of operations throughout the continent.
Bell 206L LongRanger, Chesterfield, Ind., Feb. 2, 2006–The EMS LongRanger, operated by Petroleum Helicopters (PHI) of Lafayette, La., was destroyed when it hit trees, wires and houses while maneuvering in IMC near Chesterfield. It was en route to pick up a patient at a Kokomo, Ind. hospital. The pilot, flight nurse and paramedic were seriously injured.
EMS operators in Europe are providing some input in the ongoing debate in the U.S. about helicopter emergency medical service (EMS) safety. Reacting to a series of stories in AIN, Friedrich Rehkopf, managing director of German EMS provider ADAC Luftrettung (the flying arm of the country’s automobile club), was eager to highlight how the European approach to safety differs from that in the U.S.
Eurocopter EC 135P1, Washington, D.C., May 30, 2006–The MedStar Eurocopter made two approaches to the upper landing pad at the Washington Hospital Center and was maneuvering for an approach to the lower landing pad when it crashed on the grounds of the U.S. Armed Forces Retirement Home. The pilot had called “Mayday.” The pilot, a paramedic and a flight nurse were injured.
Raytheon Beech King Air 200, Sioux Falls, S.D., May 23, 2006–The pilot of the Sioux Valley Hospital EMS King Air, N32SV, became incapacitated for a brief time when the airplane was descending through 13,000 feet. The second pilot took the controls and landed without incident at Joe Foss Field Airport (FSD). A flight nurse and paramedic were also on board for the positioning flight from Minneapolis to FSD.
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