Amrumbank West Rescue Teams Spring Into Action

E.ON, Siemens, Northern HeliCopter GmbH and Offshore VENTUSmedic medical control centre have recently carried out an unannounced alarm exercise at the Amrumbank West offshore wind farm.

The deployed personnel, the crew of Northern HeliCopter GmbH’s offshore rescue helicopter and the Offshore VENTUSmedic medical control centre operated by the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe accident assistance organization, were given no advance information, and therefore initially had to assume that this was a real case of emergency.

Those involved were given to believe that a worker – simulated by an actor – lay injured below the gearbox in the azimuth of a wind turbine.

“The exercise was focussed on the collaboration and interaction of the personnel from Siemens and E.ON on site at the wind farm and in the service building on Heligoland, the crew of the offshore rescue helicopter and the in-house control centre,” said Dr. Rüdiger Franz, medical director at NHC.

The personnel at the scene of the emergency had to correctly send out the emergency call and administer first aid, besides which they were to start with the technical rescue and prepare the patient for transport.

Parallel to these activities the emergency call was taken by the offshore control centre, instructions on first aid were given and the offshore rescue helicopter alerted.

“Northern Rescue 01” took off straight away from the base in St. Peter-Ording and flew to the wind farm located 37 km west of the island of Amrum.

Having arrived there, the pilots set the HEMS crew members and their medical and high-altitude rescue equipment down on the wind turbine’s hoist deck at a height of over 90 metres.

In the wind turbine the emergency doctor and paramedics took over the medical care of the injured person and carried out the high-altitude rescue operation up through several levels to the hoist deck of the gondola. They also made use of the “SHE Rescue Lift” rescue and abseiling gear in doing so, for which purpose the medical crew had to set up a dedicated cable zone with pulleys and then prepare the patient for transport with the helicopter.

The rescue operation was highly demanding in both medical as well as technical terms, but the patient was nevertheless able to be given treatment and flown out within 30 minutes, Northern HeliCopter said.

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