25 years of ADAC air rescue in Saarbrücken

25 years of ADAC air rescue in Saarbrücken

8-Jul-2021 Source: DRF Luftrettung

The air rescue station Saarbrücken with the rescue helicopter “Christoph 16” of the non-profit ADAC air rescue celebrates its 25th anniversary on July 1st. Since the Federal Border Police took over flight operations in 1996, the flying yellow angels have been alerted around 35,000 times – this corresponds to around 1,400 missions per year.

“The station in Saarbrücken has made a significant contribution to the more than 1.1 million ADAC air rescue operations to date. With their high level of professionalism and great commitment, the crew made “Christoph 16” indispensable as a fast lifesaver from the air, ”explains Frédéric Bruder, Managing Director of ADAC Luftrettung. “Air rescue is teamwork”, he adds, and thanks in particular to the Saarbrücken Winterberg Clinic and the Saarland DRK, who provide the emergency doctors and paramedics (TC HEMS), as well as the Saarland Rescue Service and Fire Brigade Alerting Association and the Saarland Ministry of the Interior and Sport as a carrier of air rescue for 25 years of partnership.

Reasons for use in Saarland are predominantly cardiovascular emergencies such as heart attacks and cardiac arrhythmias, injuries after leisure, sports, school and traffic accidents as well as neurological emergencies such as a stroke. The ADAC rescue helicopter stationed in Saarbrücken is an Airbus EC135 machine. The great advantages of the helicopter are its operational speed of around 230 km / h and its independence from difficult road or traffic conditions. The crew of “Christoph 16” consists of three pilots from ADAC air rescue, 14 emergency doctors from the Saarbrücken Winterberg Clinic and seven emergency paramedics (TC HEMS) from the DRK Saarland.

For reasons of age, two pilot changes are pending for “Christoph 16”. Station manager Klaus Kacheleck (65) – since 1998 pilot of ADAC air rescue, first in Mainz and since 2005 in Saarbrücken – is saying goodbye to well-deserved retirement, as is Bernd Gnädinger (60). The latter has been with ADAC Luftrettung since 1995, first in Fulda and since the commissioning of “Christoph 16” 25 years ago in Saarbrücken. Fabrice Léoncini (45) – a pilot with ADAC Luftrettung since 2010 – and Achim Züscher (44) – since November 2020 in the service of ADAC Luftrettung – will take over these tasks as successors. Mirko Schmidt (53) will be in charge of the ward.

The rescue helicopter “Christoph 16” has been in use in Saarland since 1978. When the Federal Border Police withdrew from civil air rescue in 1996, the non-profit ADAC Air Rescue took over the station. Especially in rural regions, where there is often a lack of emergency doctors, the rescue helicopter is often the fastest and only way to get the emergency doctor to seriously injured or sick people on time – and to transport them gently to a suitable clinic.

In the past year, the flying yellow angels had to deploy nationwide for a total of 51,749 missions. With 141 emergencies per day, operations continue to be at the highest level. The alerts from ADAC rescue helicopters due to the corona-related decline in mobility decreased by a total of 2218 or 4.1 percent compared to the previous year. In the anniversary year, however, the crews were more challenged than ever before. The coronavirus demands everything from the crews and, due to the strict safety and hygiene concepts, as well as the constant risk of infection, causes a significantly higher level of operational stress.

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