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weight of 16.5 kilograms, we have to carry it while climbing to the patient in order to secure him and to get him down on the platform or up to the gondola and from there into the helicopter. Only the energy plants that are working have an electrical feed and an elevator. The others that are built right now have an upright ladder, only – and they are about 60 meters high. Sometimes it is very difficult to get a per- son in safely,” Janssen elaborates.. “People who work on an oil rig or a


wind turbine know their risk. It's the same with mountain climbers. In some cases you will be injured so badly that you won't sur- vive because the rescue is so difficult or will take too long. It's hard to take, but that’s reality. But we do our best to save as many lives as we can,” Janssen comments. Northern Helicopter has about eleven


permanent employees on its payroll and about 20 freelancers. Every one of them who wants to fly offshore has to complete a sea survival training that is repeated every three years. The company owns three hel- icopters: the AS365 Dauphin for rescue flights, an EC 155 for offshore transporta-


tion and a Bell 206 Long Ranger for film and photo flights, education and passenger flights. As CEO Frank Zabell explains, the AS365 will be replaced in the near future, by an AS365 of the more powerful N-series. The crews have mixed feelings about this. “The old Dauphin has the same performance as the Huey most of us flew in Fassberg*, but it's lighter and therefore has more power. We


like


Medical Crew member Herbert Janssen is talking to the escort of the girl waiting in the ambulance, before transporting her to the hospital .


this helicopter,” Pilot


“Wolle” tells me. Since the company was founded


in 2008, the rescue missions gain more and more


importance, climbing from


346 alerts in the first year to more than 500 forecast for 2011. As the wind farms are growing,


the telephone will ring much more often in Emden. And the crews of Northern Helicopter will do their best to save lives at the Frisian Islands and making the offshore


Projects in the Northern Sea safer again. ◆ The hoist has become an essential tool for offshore rescue missions.


*A base of the German Army that is still equipped with Bell UH-1D Huey


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