EHAC is the trade association representing European organisations engaged in providing emergency medical services involving helicopters and ambulance aircraft.
EHAC aims at improving the level of medical care for emergency patients and ensuring corresponding standards of quality among its members.
EHAC is the competent partner for national and international regulatory agencies, such as EASA, in all matters relating to air rescue and ambulance flights.
EHAC supports its members in performing their tasks and facilitates the exchange of experience and information by organising adequate platforms, including technical symposia and conferences.
EHAC works to ensure that the highest, most uniform and consistent standards in safety, effectiveness and efficiency are applied to the provision of air rescue services in Europe.
EHAC provides a link between the various areas of activity through appropriate measures to improve safety and service reliability by publishing recommendations and standards which its members strive to meet, by developing training programmes for medical personnel, flight operations and technical staff, and by promoting practical and scientific exchange.
EHAC facilitates the convergence of emergency medical and flight operation requirements in order to optimise them and to achieve synergies.
EHAC is in constant contact with the relevant national and international trade associations, the aviation organisations and the industry to make new information and knowledge available to its members.
EHAC works for the removal of bureaucratic barriers in the areas affecting air rescue.
European Air Rescue Has a Name:
To protect its citizens, an ever tighter civilian air rescue network providing acute medical assistance spans across Europe. Their mission is to quickly take medically qualified rescue experts to the scene in all types of emergency and to take emer-gency patients to the hospitals best suited for their treatment. Over short and medium distances, such services are provided by HEMS helicopters, while long distance missions are also performed by fixed-wing aircraft.
Today, there are over 360 HEMS helicopter bases in Europe with additional fixed-wing ambulance bases chiefly providing cross-border or inter-continental services such as medical repatriation. Some 200,000 HEMS and air ambulance missions are flown annually. In Germany alone, HEMS helicopters have flown in excess of 1 million missions since the inception of HEMS services.
Many people owe their life and continued health to the availability of this type of service, as the speed and time advantage air rescue provides is crucial in most emergency situations.
While both the network and its utilisation grow, there is an increased need to exchange expertise. On a national level, the public perception of air rescue is satisfactory, but not so at the European level, where there remain considerable gaps. This became evident in the process of implementing the new European civilian aviation standards and also in the development of medical standards.
EHAC was founded in 2000 by initiative of ADAC Air-Rescue (Germany), Christophorus Air-Rescue (Austria), Swiss Air-Rescue (Rega) (Switzerland) and other companies providing or having an interest in air rescue. EHAC aims at eliminating the perceived deficits and at improving contacts with the public authorities.
EHAC achieved its major goals and after expanding its scope is now also representing the interests of air ambulance operators.
Thanks to the huge spontaneous response to EHAC, the association is now present in almost every European country and counts every major air rescue operator among its members.
EHAC is involved in various EASA rulemaking tasks and had been granted observer status by the Joint Aviation Authorities (JAA) and is a member of the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN).
EHAC strives to create and promote a public perception in Europe to the effect that air rescue and air ambulance services are necessary and that they have certain requirements.
EHAC represents the interests of its members with the European regulatory authorities. EHAC makes the expertise of its members available to the bodies involved in drawing up or reviewing regulatory acts (for instance the EU Commission, EASA, national civil aviation authorities). EHAC also pursues the uniform implementation of new regulations.
Furthermore, EHAC is devoted to further developing air rescue services and to maintaining high standards of service quality. The primary criteria include flight safety and medical efficacy. These are the master objectives governing EHAC's key activities:
- Optimisation of crew training
- Development of standards for training pilots, physicians, paramedics and hems crew members
- Development uniform quality standards for HEMS helicopters, air ambulance planes and their medical and non-medical equipment
- Support of research and result analysis
- Introduction of new technologies
- Expanding the scope of missions
- Coordination and cooperation in major disasters
The regular AIRMED conferences are another focal point of EHAC's activity. They provide an international platform for operators and manufacturers. The next AIRMED is scheduled from 3-5 October 2017 in London.
The association's full membership is available to any legal entity operating an HEMS service under a public contract or directly providing air ambulance or air rescue services and operating at least one dedicated HEMS helicopter or ambulance aircraft base in daily service year-round.
Associated membership is available for any legal entity or other organisation indirectly involved in HEMS and/or fixed-wing medical repatriation services (e.g. contractors, health insurers, rescue organisations, public authorities, manufacturers, etc.)
The membership fee schedule is agreed between the EHAC Board and the General Assembly.
EHAC is an association according to the German Civil Code with its registered seat in Munich.
Stefan Becker, Switzerland, Head of Corporate Development at Swiss Air-Ambulance Rega
Reinhard Kraxner, Austria, Managing Director at Christophorus Air Rescue
Hans-Jörg Eyrich, Germany, CFO at DRF Stiftung Luftrettung gAG
Frédéric Bruder, Germany, Managing Director at ADAC Air Rescue
Robert Galazkowski, Poland, Director LPR Poland
Hans Morten Lossius, Norway, Secretary General at Norsk Luftambulanse
Eric Normann, Norway, Chief Pilot Norsk Luftambulanse
Petra van Saaze, Netherlands, Managing Director at ANWB Medical Air Assistance
Roland Hengartner, Switzerland, CEO at Aerolite
Ralph Setz, Germany, Sales Promotion Director HEMS at Airbus Helicopters
The day-to-day expert research of EHAC is carried out by working groups. Their chairpersons are designated by the Board.
Actual EHAC has established the following working groups:
- Aeromedical Crew Ressource Management - ACRM
- Flight OPS
- Medical Working Group
Besides the day-to-day work and mostly to support temporary initiatives EHAC sets up ad-hoc expert groups.