Cloudless sky, mild temperatures and hardly anyone on the mountain bike trail in the Black Forest. Perfect conditions. Tina and Marco have already tried out many of the mounting bike trails.
Today, they’ve gone for particularly difficult terrain – the two of them worked up a good sweat during the ascent. But it was worth it. Not just for the view, but the way back down is breathtaking. Yet suddenly Tina can’t slow down, hurtling toward a bend covered with stones. She loses control of the bike and falls. Apart from the abrasions on her face and arms, Tina's leg doesn’t move properly any more. Marco acts quickly and rings the emergency number 112. Using the caller’s geo-coordinates, the mountain rescuers pinpoint the scene of the accident quickly. Thanks to the compact monitor/defibrillator, they can monitor Tina’s vital signs as they are carrying her out of the difficult terrain. The hospital confirms what the rescuers suspected: Tina’s fractured her left femur.
Help with outdoor emergencies
From injured mountain bikers, fallen climbers, to a hiker’s sudden heart attack: If anyone is off the beaten track miles from civilization and needs help, the Black Forest mountain rescue service is always ready. “Where the emergency medical services can’t get, that’s where we come in,” says Matthias Schübel, coordinator for deployment and development, emergency paramedic and helicopter rescuer. With around 650 active members divided into 22 local groups, Matthias and his colleagues provide emergency medical services in the Black Forest. But not just in the mountains. The mountain rescue service is also deployed regularly at events involving extreme sports such as the Snow Cross World Cub or the Ultra Bike Marathon. And MEDUCORE Standard² is always with them.
Mountain rescuers by conviction
Matthias is a trained emergency paramedic and has been volunteering for the Black Forest mountain rescue service for over 15 years – including as a helicopter rescuer. Apart from his voluntary work, he’s been working full-time for the organization as the coordinator for deployment and development for the past few months. “I’m a mountain rescuer by conviction – I’m fascinated by the medical components, the technical aspects and the interaction with nature,” Matthias explains. An important prerequisite for this work as his job is not without its risks, as inhospitable terrain and extreme weather conditions prove physically and mentally challenging.
Heavy thunderstorms, sleet showers, thick fog – the weather can turn dangerous very fast both whether you’re a hiker, anyone else in the mountains, or a mountain rescuer. To ensure the rescue runs as smoothly as possible, it is vital that the medical equipment can withstand the extreme conditions in the mountains. “The best mountain rescuer has no chance of helping patients if the device fails,” explains Matthias.
For that reason the devices must be compact, lightweight and weather-resistant. Ideally, the equipment can be stowed in rucksacks, making it easy to transport. At the same time, the devices must be intuitive and easy-to-use, as most of the rescuers are volunteers and only have limited medical knowledge. “Our experience with MEDUCORE Standard² has been excellent so far and we’ve also had lots of very positive feedback from the other state associations,” Matthias reports.
Safe rescue for patients and users
As with any rescue mission, every second counts with mountain rescue. With MEDUCORE Standard² the rescue runs smoothly and fast for Matthias and his team. Without the monitor/defibrillator they used to have to interrupt the rescue, to manually check blood pressure for instance. The patient was put down, the rescue bag opened and the measurement taken. “Thanks to the automated blood pressure measurement there’s no need to take a break now. Having the device connected to the patient means we can always monitor the vital signs and the injured patients can stay safe in the rescue bag,” Matthias explains.
At the same time, the emergency medical services can run more checks. “While in the past we relied on the equipment in the ambulance, we can now care for patients more independently and, for instance, check their cardiac rhythm. The emergency medical services no longer need to haul the devices to the accident scene as we already have the right device to hand thanks to MEDUCORE Standard².”
At present, the Black Forest mountain rescue service has eight devices in use. “The device offers many practical functions in a single compact, lightweight housing. That’s why our long-term plan is to equip all 22 local groups with a WEINMANN Emergency monitor/defibrillator,” Matthias concludes.