Last week I wrote about how the versatility of the helicopter industry helps to create new career opportunities even when a disruption like COVID-19 hinders other industries. The best example of this is the continued growth of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services (HEMS), which is the basis for our partnership with this week’s Featured Partner Profile, ADAC Luftrettung gGmbH (ADAC Air Rescue).
HAA entered into a partnership with ADAC Luftrettung one year ago through our Hillsboro Heli Academy flight training school, with the goal of training helicopter pilots to meet the growing demand for emergency medical service pilots in Germany — an estimated shortfall of 100-200 pilots over the next 10 years.
How does an industry partnership work? Each one is a little different, but in all cases, the goal is to provide Hillsboro graduates with career pathways while providing the partner with a pool of highly qualified candidates. In this case, Hillsboro graduates with the right licenses and ratings, combined with 1,000 flight hours and at least 500 of them in emergency medical service or a similarly challenging job, are guaranteed an interview with ADAC Luftrettung. Students accepted into the program are also supported by a mentor during their training.
HAA’s recent announcement of our joint EASA-FAA training program further strengthens our partnership with ADAC Luftrettung, because the new program provides considerable time and cost savings for European students pursuing both FAA and EASA commercial licenses. And our F-1 visa program allows up to 23 additional months in the U.S. upon training completion, giving students a pathway to earning the required hours for ADAC employment.
Like us, ADAC Luftrettung began with a single helicopter and grew to become one of the largest players in the industry. They recently celebrated their golden anniversary — 50 years in air rescue. The innovation they pioneered in 1970 was the concept of providing better care for the injured by bringing emergency doctors directly to the patient in need, prompted by high incidence of highway deaths in Germany in the 1960’s. That commitment to improving survival and recovery rates continues to this day; ADAC Luftrettung now has more than 50 rescue helicopters and 37 stations, making it one of the largest air rescue organizations in Europe. The non-profit organization is still led by its founding principle, "Against time and for life.”
A career in HEMS offers helicopter pilots the chance to make a meaningful difference in the lives of others, by helping to provide critical aid when it’s needed most. Prospective pilots who wish to explore this rewarding career path while flying in Europe should start by downloading our Joint EASA-FAA program description, and then connect with us about opportunities with employers like ADAC Luftrettung.