The second day of the RETTmobile 2009 conference started off wonderfully with a beautiful warm sunny day in Germany. The crowd was large and representatives from counties across Europe packed the trade show. As we entered the safety expo a large contingent from Dubai were being escorted from their oversized mobile medical vehicle as search and rescue team dogs and their handlers strolled by. Much to my surprise you’ll find that dogs are allowed in most German restaurants and bars. I and the other delegates representing the EMS Safety Foundation quickly hurried to the ambulance test track for our scheduled training time.

As we check in at the Mercedes-Benz booth I knew I was about to have the ultimate driving experience. Five Mercedes-Benz ambulances available for us to test drive. After a little instruction in German (never understood a word of what was said) we were off to the races. Serpentine at high speeds, 70 mph to a full stop and offset alley full stops. These rigs were fast and equipped with all the safety engineering you would expect in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. The braking and handeling were exceptional and they lived up to their slogan, "Truck you can trust." We all left with the biggest smiles on our faces.

I found two incredible mobility innovations on the second day too. The first was a front passenger seat that rotated and mechanically articulated out and in the vehicle with a remote control. Anyone who ever struggle getting a disabled friend or older relative into a car could sure appreciate this innovation. The second innovation was a wheelchair that could walk up and down stairs by remote control. Both of these were high tech inventions to keep people mobile and active without potentially injuring your back. Personal high visibility clothing used for scene safety was also pervasive throughout the displays.

New firefighting equipment and technology was very impressive too. My favorite was the quick response BMW motorcycle outfitted with a fire extinguishing system that included a sprayers, hose and nozzle. A light weight hose rack for deploying fire hose was simple and smart. We are still loading heavy hose on our shoulders back in the US. Most fire apparatus was small and more maneuverable than what’s I was use to. The cobbles stone streets here in Fulda are narrow and winding making these quick attack vehicles a necessity. I was also in awe that the fire department had its own massive lifting crane.

The day ended with a live Webinar broadcast by Dr. Nadine Levick, founder of the EMS Safety Foundation. Dr Levick interviewed Prof. Dr. med. P. Safrin, whose vision created and molded RETTmobile. All US delegates had a chance to shared their favorite moments with everyone listening in from the around the world. After a long day it was off to a small bed and breakfast (more like an old hunting lodge) out in the country for some good food and German beer.

So that’s it from Germany and RETTmobile 2009. I’ll be making my way back to the US in the morning and savoring this trip. I’ll have some final parting thoughts to share with you when I return home. Till then...
Wayne Zygowicz, JEMS Editorial member

PS - My mission to find Litltleron Fire Fighter Jens Pietrzyk was successful. Jens is deployed with the US military and is serving in Germany. We miss you brother Jens. Come home safely!

RETTmobile 2009

Dubai Delegates and Security

Search and Rescue Dogs and Handlers

Ambualnce Test Track - Mercedes-Benz

Delegate Mark Kessler, Director of Ground Services - CareFlite (Texas) Takes a Test Drive

Mobility Innovations

Mobility Innovations

High visibility clothing

High visibility clothing

Helecopter Landing

Firefighter Helmet

Firefighter Helmet

BMW Firefighting Motorcycle

Fulda Fire Department Engine

Fulda Fire Department Ladder

Fulda Fire Department Crane

Light Weight Fire Hose Racks

Corky Zygowicz and Fulda Firefighters

Dr. Nadin Levick and Leo McFarland of the EMS Safety Foundation, Interview Prof. Dr. med.P.Safrin

EMS Safety Foundation Delegates Enjoying Dinner

Littleton Firefighter Jens Pietrzyk

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