Ljubljana – Slovenian army helicopter crews clocked up 633 interventions last year to airlift 644 injured or sick people, carry incubators and drop roughly 110,00 litres of water on fires, data released by the government shows.
The 151st Rotary Wing Squadron of the Slovenian Armed Forces (SAF) assisted in 196 mountain rescue operations and seven firefighting campaigns, responded to 410 medical emergencies and carried incubators 20 times for a total of 711 flight hours in 2021.
Since the start of the new year they have already taken off eight times to help, four times to rescue people in the mountains and three times to provide emergency medical assistance. They also helped fight a wildfire sparked by a firecracker on Mt Nanos on New Year’s Day.
Last year SAF crews also delivered 19 donor organs aboard the Dessault Falcon jet for Slovenija Transplant. Since the cooperation agreement was signed in March 2015, they have provided 86 such organ transports.
Defence Ministry data shows the total number of SAF helicopter interventions was higher only in 2019 and 2018, at 733 and 654, respectively.
Crews of the 51st Rotary Wing Squadron on duty at the military sections of the Ljubljana and Maribor airports can respond to emergency calls within 15 minutes round-the-clock year-round.