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The AS365 Dauphin lifts off for an emergency EMS flight.


farms we got us a new problem: as safe as they are, there will always be accidents and injured or ill workers to be treated. Some patients might suf- fer from some minor sickness; some might be injured really badly. But there was no plan to get them evacuated and transferred to the hospital,” explains Janssen. “The first gondolas didn’t even have pro-


tecting grates on their top and were equipped with only a very small door on the top. Imagine: a person is injured inside the wind turbine. We would have to fly there and hover over the tur- bine while one of us is being winched down to the gondola without any means of protection, once he is on top of the structure. It's always windy there at sea and sometimes even stormy. Rain and snow are common, too. Now you are supposed to climb through the door, in order to get to the patient and to stabilize him or her and then lift him through this little hatch – impossi- ble!” Janssen proclaims. “So far, there have been four accidents and


it always took a long time to recover the patients. The rescue chain was suboptimal. But the oper-


ROTORCRAFTPROFESSIONAL


ators and manufacturers of the wind turbines are very cooperative. We all sat together and devised a plan for a fast and save rescue mission. As you see, there has been no comparable scenario, yet – this is truly sort of pioneer work – and we are the only HEMS operator in Germany who does it!” Janssen comments. For those offshore missions (in the 12 nau-


tical miles zone) the helicopter must be flown in dual mode, which means that a pilot, co-pilot, winch operator and the two medical crewmem- bers (in this case often an emergency doctor, too) are onboard. Instead of the transfer flights that are only flown in the time from sunrise to sunset (plus 30 minutes) the offshore missions are flown 24/7. The Dauphin is always equipped with all medical devices that are necessary for an ambu- lance flight: stretcher, intravenous lines, intravenous pump, a respirator, the necessary equipment for airway management and patient monitoring sys- tems including an ECG. In comparison to the ambulance flights to


the islands, patients at the wind farms are often in far worse conditions and this equipment might


22 be needed more often. Of course there are


emergency rooms on the living platforms at each farm and those are well-equipped, also with good doctors – but if someone is injured in a gondola or in the mast of the wind turbine, he has to be rescued from there first. Therefore the hoist is essential. “Most of our crew members came from the


Army; especially our pilots and winch operators. They have thousands of hours of training and they are very experienced. We joke around a lot while waiting for the next alert, but during oper- ations the guys on the winch are absolute pros and do a great job,” Herbert Janssen explains. As mentioned before, there are only few


experiences of working at wind turbines with a helicopter. But there are also some identical ener- gy plants onshore to get the necessary training. Of course each case of an accident and each alert is special. You can get routine but you can't automate the rescue chain, especially not in the offshore theatre. “Wind energy plants rescue missions are very challenging. Our emergency backpack has a


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