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DAY 28

DAY 28

FLY TOWARDS THE STORM

Three lives are saved every minute with an Airbus helicopter

Every minute, three lives are saved thanks to an Airbus helicopter.

Speed is crucial, as the greatest chance of saving patients depends on getting them to help within the first hour of injury, known as the ‘golden hour’ when medical attention is most likely to be successful.

And in often treacherous environments, the sooner crews can arrive on the scene, the more time they have to carry out the rescue mission.

Airbus helicopters make a real difference in such situations, which is why fire, police and especially air ambulance departments around the world rely on them.

Their mission: to fly towards the storm.


“It was a surreal experience to be rescued by the kind of product I had worked on for 38 years!”

Serge Durand, former Head of Airbus in Romania.

For Serge Durand, the moment when an Airbus helicopter rescued him from the side of a French mountain is one he’ll never forget…

Serge was hiking in the mountains of Southern France when he took an unstable path and fell three metres. He broke his ankle in several places and was left totally immobilised.

Within an hour, an Airbus H145 helicopter had collected Serge and taken him safely to Montpellier hospital, where he had successful surgery the next day.

It was a straightforward rescue – one the crew had performed many times before. What was more unusual was Serge’s connection to the Airbus helicopter that saved him…

“It was a surreal experience to be rescued by the kind of product I had worked on for 38 years!” narrates Serge Durand, who was VP, Head of Airbus in Romania at the time.

“The pilot was beating himself up because he felt there had been too much side drift while I was being winched up.

I disagreed – I thought it had been exceptionally smooth. Despite the cliff edge, obstructing trees, and thirty metre climb, I felt cool throughout! I didn't feel any fear, because I knew the exceptional capabilities of the aircraft.

“I told him not to worry regardless, because the new model featured an even better Fenestron tail rotor that would make it more stable. And as the pilot confidently activated autopilot mode, I couldn't help but boast about the work we were doing to boost autopilot capabilities too with four axis.

“I was of course in a lot of pain, but it was great to experience the aircraft in action, and really appreciate the smooth ride and, importantly, the speed!

“A year and a half later, I have a lot to be grateful for, thanks to my good colleagues from Airbus Helicopters.”

The H145 is one of the most used helicopters for missions like this. The multi-purpose aircraft can be reconfigured for different roles quickly and easily, enabling it to take on a huge variety tasks.

Airbus helicopters can assist at all stages of a crisis – not just during the eye of the storm. From the air, they support authorities and protect citizens on the ground.

They take on roles spanning logistics, transportation, surveillance, journalism, geological monitoring, and carry passengers including supplies, doctors, specialists and politicians.

On average, an Airbus helicopter used for emergency medical services completes around 1,000 missions per year. And with 1,500 Airbus helicopters currently in service for EMS missions, there are many stories like Serge’s.

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