The crew of the Multi-purpose Helicopter Squadron of the 91st Air Base of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence and the medical team of the Croatian Armed Forces on 15 August 2017 (the Assumption Day) logged their 200th intervention, rescuing the 241st patient from the area of the islands of Rab, Mali Lošinj, Cres and the town of Gospić. The helicopter crew of the Multi-purpose Helicopter Squadron of the 91st Air Base of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence, stationed in the island of Krk on 15 August conducted the 200th joint intervention with the medical team of the Croatian Armed Forces in 2017. The crew rapidly transported a 2-year Slovakian citizens from the island of Rab to the Rijeka Airport in the island of Krk. Within eight months the emergency medical teams, on the alert in the Rijeka Airport in the island of Krk, transported a total of 241 persons, providing quicker medical intervention for the residents and visitors (tourists) of the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the Istra County, the Lika-Senj County and a part of the Zadar County. Each rotation consisted of two teams exchanging on 12-hour duty periods Mondays through Fridays. The crews are composed of the flying personnel, a physician and a nurse and a technician in charge of maintenance of the helicopters, operating the lights at night time and providing security for the medical teams and their vehicles. The life-saving flights over the Kvarner Bay make the island population and the guests during the tourist season significantly upgrade medical care for the island population as well as for the tourists during their vacation.
Lieutenant Colonel Ratimir Benčić, medical doctor, the medical officer of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence
”The emergency medical transportation is a continuous civil-military activity inaugurated on 1 May 2016 through which we have rescued as many as 508 patients, including paediatric patients, adult patients in emergency conditions (acute myocardial infarction, polytrauma, burns, people who drowned, cerebrovascular attack and pregnant women as the particularly vulnerable population. The transportation requires well trained and prepared medical team, in view of various indications encountered in the interventions. I can assure that the medical staff engaged in emergency medical trasportation have been carefully selected, highly motivate and trained for the activity. Due attention is given to the command of foreign languages, for easier communication with the patients from foreign countries. The statistics reveal the most interventions were effectuated from Mali Lošinj, followed by Rab and Cres and the Gospić General Hospital . As a phyiscian with years-long experience I can say that each intervention involves stress, but it all disappears the moment we admit the patient aboard the helicopter and start treating him. The awareness that the our flights help save human lives is highly gratifying”
Major Igor Vratić, pilot, 91st Air Base of the Croatian Air Force and Air Defence
“Although on the human side it saddens me that we have had as many as 200 interventions in the current year the truth is that people depend on our assistance and we are here to provide it. With all the professionalism and commitment, fulfilling a noble duty instills pride in me. The 200th flight wasn't any harder or easier than the others, but will be remembered as the flight helping the little boy and his parents, whose vacation at the Croatian coast could have seen a tragic end. I am glad to have the honour to present the work of all crew members and ground personnel who completed the 200 interventions and are ready to continue performing them. The flights bring the military system closer with the civilian population, as we prove that the Armed Forces not only handle arms but also provide close support to each citizen in need“.
Iva Muškardin, medical doctor, Head of the Emergency Medical Service Unit, Mali Lošinj
”Despite its downsides living in the island is beautiful. We are often forced to make hard decisions, but are able work the best we can to enable our fellow citizens feel safe at any time. The Helicopter Emergency Transfer Service is of crucial importance for the health care of the island's population, as the transportation dynamics and the health care outcome are determined by the geographical distance. Given the number of the permanent population, which almost quadruples during the summer season,we continuosly witness to the importance of the transportation provided under the Emergency Medical Service, particularly with patients in critical conditions. The co-operation between the Helicopter Emergency Transfer Service and the Emergency Medical Service has evidently saved many lives. For us professionals the activity instils confidence that we are going to be able to in the conditions for successful execution of our job o successful that we shall be able to conduct our job properly, for the benefit of the patients, many of whom came to the Unit to express their gratitude for the service. As physician and as Head of the Emergency Medical Service Unit in Mali Lošinj I wish to commend the professionalism and humanity we witness to at each joint intervention with the medical personnel of the Croatian Armed Forces“.