DRF Luftrettung becomes H145 Fleet Leader and Distributor of HeliMods

As the first HEMS operator in Europe, DRF Luftrettung plans to introduce the “Powered Aero Loader” (PAL)™ developed by HeliMods on its H145 helicopters. The PAL™ is an electro- hydraulic stretcher loading system operated at the push of a button, which allows rapid loading and unloading of ambulance stretchers into rescue helicopters. Furthermore, both parties are seeking a distribution partnership with the aim of introducing and distributing the PAL™ in the European market. DRF Luftrettung and HeliMods signed a corresponding Letter of Intent (LoI) yesterday at the HAI Heli-Expo helicopter exhibition in Anaheim, USA.

For the use of the PAL™ in Europe, DRF Luftrettung had acquired the EASA STC (Supplement Type Certificate) in 2023 in close cooperation with HeliMods. “DRF Luftrettung is cooperating with HeliMods to pave the way for the use of electrohydraulic stretchers in European air rescue. We are convinced of this innovative system. Because it not only benefits the patients, but also enables the crews to work even more ergonomically,” explains Dr. Krystian Pracz, Chief Executive Officer of DRF Luftrettung.

These advantages were also confirmed by last year’s positive test on board the H145 DRF Luftrettung helicopter in Stuttgart. Currently, the system is also being put through its paces at the 24-hour HEMS base in Regensburg in order to investigate its handling during day and night operations. After successful completion of the test, we will be the first European air rescue organisation to use the stretcher ourselves and at the same time allow other European operators to participate in this innovation. We would like to thank our partner HeliMods for the trust they have placed in us. In the coming months, we will continue to develop the cooperation, and we are very confident about the further steps in developments,” Dr. Krystian Pracz sums up.

“We are extremely proud that DRF Luftrettung is intending to use the PAL™ for its own fleet and further on wishes to support us in the distribution of this innovative product in Europe. In the end, this letter of intent speaks in favor of the product, especially when it comes from such a renowned and experienced HEMS operator such as DRF Luftrettung. The patient and the crew are always at the forefront of our products and the system has been very successful in use in Australia and Canada for several years. Our partnership is intended to go far beyond the day-to-day support in the context of the use of the PAL™ at DRF Luftrettung. We will now work out the next steps together with DRF Luftrettung so that the PAL™ can be available for operators across Europe.” explains Will Shrapnel, Managing Director of HeliMods.

About DRF Luftrettung

DRF Luftrettung based in Filderstadt, is one of the largest air rescue organisations in Europe. From 32 HEMS bases at 30 locations in Germany, the non-profit organization’s helicopters and air ambulances take off on their missions. This includes emergency rescue operations, transfer flights of critically ill or injured persons between hospitals and repatriation of patients from abroad. At twelve of these HEMS bases, the crews are ready for action around the clock, and at another base, the crew is ready for daytime operation with extended off-peak hours (6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.). Helicopters with rescue hoists are used at four bases. In total, DRF Luftrettung carried out 36,413 missions in 2023. For the continuous expansion of its life-saving task, the non-profit air rescue organization is dependent on financial support. The DRF e.V. already has around 400,000 supporting members at its side. For more information, please visit www.drf-luftrettung.de

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