The Salzburg emergency doctor helicopter Christophorus 6 is heading for another mission record today. In 2022, the crews flew more than 1,500 missions – around ten percent more than in the previous year. Especially in the summer, the crews were under a lot of stress due to many operations on hot days.
The emergency doctor helicopter Christophorus is called around four times a day on average at 6 a.m. at Salzburg Airport for medical emergencies.
As in previous years, the number of operations has increased this year, confirmed the manager of the base, Thomas Brändle: “Our main season is in the summer, when we record a lot of operations due to the long days. In the meantime, it also goes through in winter and autumn – when it is usually a bit quieter.”
Mission days often very demanding for flight rescuers
Especially in the summer, the long days with around 15 hours of duty and up to twelve calls a day were very demanding for the crews.
“We don’t have air conditioning in the helicopters, and when we have a lot of cases in the heat, we also get physically challenged. We always have to take our time so as not to become dehydrated and to stay fit,” says Roland Rathauscher, air rescuer at the Red Cross.
Again and again, the crew has to rescue injured alpinists from alpine terrain with the rescue rope. Base manager Brändle uses his 35 years of flight experience and more than 8,000 rescue flights for such missions: “There is a certain routine, but of course you never know what to expect in this job. But still, every day is fulfilling – some cases naturally make you think and work, but overall the joy of this job outweighs it.”
The crew of Christophorus 6 is called out most frequently for internal and neurological emergencies as a result of household, work and traffic accidents.
The Salzburg emergency doctor helicopter Christophorus 6 is once again heading for an operational record. This year, the helpers have already flown more than 1,500 cases – about 10 percent more than in the previous year. Especially in the summer, the crew was challenged by the many operations on the hot days.