DRF H145 five blade rotor
@ DRF Luftrettung / Frank Jaenke Quelle

DRF Luftrettung one of Europe’s largest air rescue organisations flies its millionth mission

On 19 August 2021, DRF Luftrettung and its subsidiaries conducted their millionth air rescue mission. Every one of these missions aims to provide medical care to people in need as quickly as possible. The historic figure, which was reached at the Munich base on behalf of all mission crews, is not the only important feat for the air rescue teams – their main focus is on the people and stories behind the missions. Using the hashtag #TeamEineMillionPlus, staff, partners and patients are recounting their personal experiences from the million missions and bringing the world of air rescue to life.

When the alarm sounded at the Munich base just before 5 p.m. on 19 August 2021, the mission crew took off as usual within a few minutes and headed for the deployment destination. A 27-year-old woman needed to be transported to a specialist hospital for further medical care as quickly as possible as she was experiencing premature labour. The three-person crew collected the patient from the ground-based emergency services and flew her straight to the Grosshadern hospital.

This call-out marked the millionth mission for DRF Luftrettung and its subsidiaries. “We are very proud and thankful that we have been able to assist people in medical emergencies more than a million times. So, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has made this possible through their dedication to our patients and their faith in our work,” said Dr Krystian Pracz, CEO of DRF Luftrettung.

It all began with a single helicopter, which first took off to provide rapid medical assistance to a person in need on 19 March 1973. Together with its subsidiaries, DRF Luftrettung now flies around 40,000 missions a year – an average of about 110 missions per day. “It is particularly important to us that we highlight that behind each and every number is a person and an individual fate. That is why we are putting the personal stories as experienced and told from many perspectives centre stage,” added Dr Krystian Pracz.

There are umpteen millions of impressions and experiences – from our crews and patients, but also from our partners in the emergency services and our members and fans. Because air rescue requires a team effort, when everyone works hand in hand to save lives.” #TeamEineMillionPlus brings the world of air rescue to life DRF Luftrettung has always gone the extra mile to develop air rescue further for the benefit of its patients.

We conduct training, get involved in committees, share our knowledge, develop new practices, expand excellent expertise and use state-of-the-art technology – all with the aim of providing even better assistance, hopefully to more people, in future,” explains Dr Krystian Pracz. Air rescue team members, partners and patients have spoken about this abundance of passion, dedication and teamwork with moving and emotional accounts, as well as funny and everyday stories about the million air rescue missions.

In the coming weeks and months, DRF Luftrettung will open up the world of air rescuers to people using the hashtag #TeamEineMillionPlus to raise awareness of how important this work is. The air rescue community is being invited to learn about the many and varied stories and actively share their own personal experiences on Facebook and Instagram.

DRF Luftrettung Crew

DRF Luftrettung is based in Filderstadt, Germany, and is one of Europe’s largest air rescue organisations. The non-profit organisation conducts emergency rescue missions from 29 bases in Germany and provides inter-hospital transfer flights for critically ill or injured persons. Crews are on standby around the clock at eleven of these bases, with helicopters with rescue hoists deployed at three sites. DRF Luftrettung also repatriates patients from abroad using its own ambulance aircraft.

The Austrian organisation ARA Flugrettung, with two bases, has been part of DRF Luftrettung since 2001, with Northern Helicopter GmbH – which performs air and water rescue from three bases – joining in 2019. DRF Luftrettung is also involved at a base in Balzers, Liechtenstein, via the AP³ Luftrettung network. DRF Luftrettung and its subsidiaries carried out a total of 39,971 missions in 2020. The non profit air rescue organisation is reliant on financial support in order to continue taking its life-saving mission from strength to strength. DRF e.V. can already count on the generosity of well over 400,000 members.

Photo credits: DRF Luftrettung / Christoph Munich, Frank Jaenke Quelle