DRF Luftrettung, April 12, 2022 - At the end of March 2020, DRF Luftrettung provided another helicopter at Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport to provide support in the corona pandemic in addition to the public system.
Christoph 111's operational readiness ended on March 31, 2022.
The crew of Christoph 111 says goodbye after today's mission and after two years in which they have contributed to the support of medical care with the additional intensive care transport helicopter from the Operation Center of the DRF Luftrettung . A look back at their time shows how helpful, moving and inspiring this commitment was.
The very beginning of the deployment of Christoph 111 was something special. In Germany, Christoph 111, at that time under the radio call name Civil Air Ambulance , was the first helicopter to be made available specifically for intensive care transport during the pandemic. In view of the critical bottlenecks in the inpatient care of COVID-19 patients that were emerging at the time, the DRF Luftrettung managed to organize a helicopter, medical equipment, the necessary infrastructure and a first crew within just 36 hours .
The support of the helicopter and its crew was immediately required - also across borders . In neighboring Alsace in particular, the help was quickly accepted in the first few weeks in order to transport patients from overburdened clinics in France over longer distances and thus improve the patients' chances of recovery.
Stephan Nusser, paramedic/HEMS TC, was part of the Christoph 111 team right from the start. “I remember it must have been on the first or second day when we picked up a patient from the hospital in Mulhouse who, due to a lack of ventilators connected to a home ventilator. In the emergency room, beds were filled with patients struggling to breathe . Such moments are remembered.”
On June 21, 2020, DRF Luftrettung and Luxemburg Air Rescue received the Adenauer-De Gaulle Prize for their "outstanding contribution to strengthening Franco-German friendship " for their cross-border operations. “We are very proud that our commitment was recognized in this way during these challenging times. We are particularly pleased that the general public recognizes what our employees have achieved and accomplished here," emphasizes Dr. Peter Huber, board member of the DRF Luftrettung.
After the missions with a focus on the transport of French patients were completed, Christoph 111 supported the intensive care transport system in Baden-Württemberg and was particularly challenged again in spring 2021 . Stephan Nusser remembers: "We flew off when shift started and were on the road almost continuously to transfer patients until we checked out again in the evening".
After two years, the overall situation has changed so much that the additional provision to relieve the regular rescue service is no longer necessary. “The deployment of Christoph 111 was a milestone for us that paved the way for similar initiatives such as the Christoph 114 and Christoph 115 . With the aim of people. Life. Rescue. we will continue to help quickly and professionally in the future if help is needed," sums up Dr. Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung, concludes.