• Tel: +49 4921 93744-0
  • info@northernhelicopter.de

Helicopter medical crew practises for emergencies

Emden/Elsfleth/Hanover.  This was a true premiere: For the very first time, members of the NHC offshore rescue helicopter's medical crew did their annual algorithm training under difficult conditions in the "Christoph Life" simulator. The "Christoph Life" simulator is a mobile cell of the type "BK117" helicopter, acquired for such purposes by the Johanniter (JUH) training institute in Hannover together with the Trauma Foundation of Hannover Medical School (MHH). "The training of the medical crew is highly specific and calls for realistic conditions in order to be prepared for real emergency situations", says Dr. Rüdiger Franz, Medical Director at Northern HeliCopter GmbH (NHC). The nature of the emergencies, the restricted space in the helicopter and the time pressure together create a situation that requires precise coordination of the HEMS personnel among themselves. HEMS stands for Helicopter Emergency Medical Services. NHC and JUH are partners in the WINDEAcare holistic medical health care concept.

It is therefore important that the medical crew members were able to practise specific procedures under realistic conditions in the simulator. The simulated situations included, for example, technical problems such as the failure of the radio system, poor lighting conditions and smoke emission in the helicopter cabin. The conditions were made correspondingly difficult and realistic in that the emergency paramedics and assistants from JUH had to deal with the scenarios using their complete personal protective equipment (survival suit, climbing harness, life jacket and aviator helmet) under the critical eyes of training supervisor Jan Gartemann and the NHC medical director. "The realistic exercises in the simulator enabled us to identify problems at an early stage and develop appropriate solutions that could be of vital importance to everyone involved in a real emergency," as the training supervisor emphasizes.

On completion of the algorithm training, which took place over two days in the maritime competence centre in Elsfleth as well, Jan Gartemann and Dr. Rüdiger Franz expressed their great satisfaction with the team's performance. "November will already be seeing further colleagues given this training. The session in Elsfleth and Hanover is thus being made an integral element of our training concept for the offshore rescue helicopter’s medical crew, "adds the medical director.


The medical crew practised specific procedures under realistic conditions in the "Christoph Life" helicopter simulator.   Photos: NHC, Bertrand Hoeborn