On the morning of Friday 8 December 2023, LAR presented the newly acquired Airbus H145 D3 rescue helicopters at its premises at Luxembourg-Findel Airport.
During the press conference, the rescue helicopters and an aeroplane ambulance were presented in the LAR hangar, including their interior and the medical equipment.
René Closter, the Founder and Chairman of the board of Directors of Luxembourg Air Rescue and Executive Board of Luxembourg Air Ambulance held a short presentation speech explaining why the LAR decided to buy these new helicopters. “Certain parts of the old helicopters are always rarer and more expensive. A rotor blade, for instance, can cost up to $20,000 and it can take longer and longer to receive the parts. Some can no longer be obtained.”
Among the advantages of these new helicopters, he named their speed (280 km/h), their high level of comfort and practicality as well as safety requirements. Their primary goal is to bring medical professionals to the patients as fast as possible, René Closter stressed. He emphasised the importance of the so-called “golden hour”, which is the first hour after a road accident with casualties. During this time, if the seriously injured person is attended to and taken to a medical centre, their chance of survival increases dramatically. These helicopter models’ stretchers can turn into trolleys to easily and smoothly transport the patient directly into the hospital. Furthermore, the Airbus H145 D3 rescue helicopters are treated to reduce vibration, making the flight experience smoother, he highlighted.
René Closter also named two disadvantages of the models. A first drawback was the fact that not every space is accessible for landing – the spaces should be “safe”, such as roads, gardens or fields, for example. The high cost was a second downside, as a new H145 D3 costs €11 million. Therefore, LAR reported having opted for used models in like-new condition.
The presentation was followed by a demonstration by medical professionals of how a patient would be transported into the helicopter.
Chronicle.lu also had the opportunity to speak to Patrick Adamczuk, Chief Flight Nurse and Deputy Head of Medical Department for Luxembourg Air Rescue. He noted that the team on such a flight would be composed of a pilot, a flight nurse and a physician. “There are two bases in Luxembourg, one in the North, in Ettelbrück, and one in Findel. The two are on standby for medical assistance that can be reached by calling 112,” he said. He went on to explain that these helicopter models could fly higher, faster and longer that the previous ones and he noted that the size of the cabin allows for easier access to administer medical care during the flight. Furthermore, the ability to fly higher enables the transfer of patients to other hospitals, if required. Since there is no university hospital available in Luxembourg, patients that suffered serious accidents or burns and may require a transplant, may need to be transferred to Germany, Belgium or France establishments, he added. Additionally, these models are safer, with a well-protected, “caged-in” tail rotor.