Crew at the Luxembourg Air Rescue hangar at Findel airport prepare one of its six rescue MD 902 helicopters to help out with the coronavirus pandemic in eastern France.
LAR was responding to a request from the French government.
Since Saturday 28 March, Luxembourg Air Rescue’s fleet of ambulance jets and helicopters has been assisting the French service d'aide médicale urgente organisation, which coordinates first responders and other emergency medical requirements.
One of LAR’s first missions was to fly coronavirus patients from eastern France to Hamburg aboard one its six Learjet 45XR ambulance plane, which are fitted out with state-of-the-art equipment. In 2015, LAR planes equipped with a special MEDEVAC (medical evacuation) module repatriated Ebola patients from affected regions, an experience that has come in useful for the current crisis says CEO and president René Closter.
Closter says it is natural for LAR to help out in other countries. “As far as Luxembourg Air Rescue is concerned, there are no political borders when it comes to air rescue,” he explained. Indeed, as well as the Ebola repatriations, in the past LAR has conducted humanitarian missions to help the victims of earthquakes in Iran, Morocco and Pakistan and was also involved in relief efforts in Indonesia following the December 2004 tsunami.
However, Closter also emphasised that LAR’s regular rescue and transfer helicopter services operating from Luxembourg city and Ettelbruck would not be affected by the missions in France.