DRF take stock of the corona pandemic in Germany

DRF take stock of the corona pandemic in Germany 10 Jul, 20, Source: DRF Luftrettung

DRF Luftrettung looks back on the first six months of 2020, a special half-year, because the dominant topic here was the corona virus. For the employees of the non-profit air rescue organization, it not only brought about far-reaching changes in everyday work, but above all great encouragement and support from the population. The deployment figures show that rapid air-based help was also unrestricted during the pandemic: In total, the DRF air rescuers performed 17,642 missions at 29 stations nationwide in the first half of the year, 300 of them in connection with Covid-19.

“We didn’t have to close any of our stations because of the Corona virus, even if it was only for half a day or an hour. So we were fully operational during the lockdown and there for the people, ”summarizes Dr. Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung. “We are very proud of this. Because it shows that we have the capacity and the know-how to keep our promise under very challenging circumstances and to live up to our own claim: to help people in medical emergencies as quickly and as quickly as possible. Because one must not forget that even in the pandemic, every minute counts when the clock is ticking after a heart attack or a serious accident. “After extensive but rapid, Consultations with the DRF hygiene experts based on the information and recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute, the DRF Luftrettung largely switched to home office activities. Fixed teams or shift operations were introduced at the air rescue stations and in the shipyard in order to contain possible infections. In addition, all employees were comprehensively informed about the protective measures to be applied.

“Of course it is clear to us that this was an enormous change and also a burden for many colleagues and still is,” says Dr. Pracz clearly. “At this point, I would like to expressly appreciate the willingness that we have seen in the past few weeks as a team in the service of our patients and thank everyone for their extraordinary commitment.” Over the past few weeks, the non-profit organization has also achieved great solidarity and support from the population. Regardless of whether from private individuals or companies, in the form of donations, self-sewn masks, disinfectants or sweets in between: social cohesion was enormous. “The colleagues on site were very touched and say thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

A look outside the box: “Christoph 111” and EpiShuttle

After securing regular operations, the DRF Luftrettung asked itself in a further step how it could help to cope with the Corona crisis as well as possible and to stabilize the health system in Germany. As a result of these considerations and a quick implementation, the organization was able to put an additional helicopter into service at the end of March. Since then he has been available under the name “Christoph 111” at Karlsruhe / Baden-Baden Airport for intensive transport and relieves the public service system. At the beginning of April, the first two EpiShuttles were taken over, special insulating stretches that optimally protect the crews and save time when transporting infectious patients. By the end of June, the stations had recorded a total of 31 missions with the nine EpiShuttles, “Christoph 111” was alerted 152 times.

Exceptional challenges well mastered
Dr. Pracz draws a clear conclusion: “We have faced the special challenges of the past weeks and months and successfully passed them. I am particularly pleased that we had the resources to fly French patients to Germany or back to their homeland in neighborly solidarity. It is not clear today what challenges the corona virus will pose in the future. But I am sure that the DRF Luftrettung will do everything to be prepared for it as well as possible. “

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