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Air rescue base coordinates helicopter crew via SMS

Retarus SMS services keep air rescue helicopter Christoph 1 ready for duty

Munich, 06/06/2014 // They save lives on a daily basis. The emergency response team onboard the Christoph 1 takes off several times every day for rescue missions. The faster the Munich-based air rescue team arrives at the scene of the accident, the better the chances are for those in distress. The support staff relies on retarus’ SMS services to shorten the overall time required to forward information to the rescue team.

Often, the difference between life and death is a matter of minutes. This is the reason why air rescuers are of crucial importance in Germany, especially in rural areas where the nearest hospital is often at far distances. When it comes to saving lives, the helicopter is the fastest method of transportation. In Germany, there are a total of 34 bases with 51 helicopters, one of which is the Christoph 1. It is stationed at the Harlaching clinic in Munich, and it is ready for takeoff in less than two minutes. The air rescue team utilizes the SMS services integrated in retarus’ web-based content delivery platform “WebExpress” to ensure the helicopter is ready for duty whenever there is an emergency.

Christoph 1 started to operate on November 1, 1970 with a Bölkow Bo 105 which has in the meantime been replaced by a Eurocopter BK 117. It is ready for duty in less than two minutes and arrives at the scene of the accident in a minimum of time. © Luftrettungsstation Christoph 1

Whether a road traffic accident, mountain rescue or stroke – emergencies are as varied as they are common. In 2013, Christoph 1 took off 1,480 times. The helicopter’s four-person emergency response crew has available a highly sophisticated technical and medical equipment. The emergency crew includes surgeons, anesthesiologist, and internists from the Harlaching clinic and paramedics from Munich’s professional fire department.

The Christoph 1 air rescue base uses SMS to efficiently coordinate the boarding crew on short notice. Through Retarus WebExpress these critical messages are sent faster, easier and more efficiently. Speed of response is essential, as in addition to the three pilots and 25 physicians that need to be coordinated, there are 6 paramedics and 3 flight technicians. The pilot, emergency doctor, paramedic and board technician are notified via SMS of all events concerning the air rescue as in the event of a last minute change, i.e. staff shortage, it is imperative to act fast and replace the crew member.

The decentralized storage of data on multiple systems had been a problem in the past, as it had inconsistencies in the data that required additional resources to keep up-to-date. Prior to implementing retarus WebExpress, all contact information – specially cell phone numbers – had to be synchronized on all mobile devices and the Harlaching’s air rescue system to minimize delays on crew logistics that could jeopardize the rescue mission.

Thanks to Retarus WebExpress, communications are more efficient, and critical SMS messages are sent and delivered in seconds. Two functions are critical for Harlaching’s air rescue base team: Centralized staff data storage guarantees that all information is synchronized, allowing data changes on records to immediately appear on all devices connected to WebExpress. The mobile rescue staff can send text messages with key instructions from any device – desktop, notebook, tablet or smartphone – to all cell phone networks via Retarus’ Messaging Cloud. The coordinator and leader of the emergency response team, Roland Gebhardt, is now always capable of coordinating the availability of a Christoph 1 emergency response team regardless of the time or location. Gebhardt: “Retarus WebExpress significantly accelerates and facilitates the coordination of our emergency response team. The time we save helps us to more effectively reach our ambitious goal of saving lives”.

About Retarus

Retarus offers enterprise-level cloud solutions for Messaging, Email Security, and Business Integration. At the highest service level, with top performance, security, compliance with data protection regulations, and global availability. Retarus' services are successfully used for cloudification and securing messaging and email infrastructures, as well as for the intelligent automation of business processes and workflows. Retarus, headquartered in Munich, was founded by Martin Hager in 1992 and has been owner managed ever since. The company employs around 500 people in 20 offices on four continents. Over 40 percent of the companies listed in the S&P Global 100 rely on Retarus. More information:

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