Enrico kindly drove us to the HEMS base where we caught up with the doctor and nurse (Massimiliano) on duty that day. It was a stunning day – very hot and sunny as you can see in the photos. The team – having just returned from a successful resuscitation of a man in cardiac arrest – were very hot from their efforts and I certainly didn’t envy them in their heat-trapping red boiler suits.
Simon and I were more than a little disappointed to discover that the team had been hoping to surprise us by taking us on an impromptu flight over Verona, but unfortunately things conspired against us; a combination of heavy traffic and bad timing meant that while we were en route initially, we saw the helicopter taking off just before we got there. When we finally caught up with them it was a bit too late in the day. However, we were still given a tour of the craft and equipment though by way of a consolation.
The ‘elisoccorso’ attends five calls a day on average; sometimes they are tasked to high priority medical and trauma cases but they also occasionally carry out rescues on difficult terrains. There are hills and mountains in the north of the Verona province and calls to some of these areas may involve the daring nurse or medic being winched down to retrieve the patient.
I am planning a return visit – after all I simply can’t let an opportunity to fly over Verona and maybe take some incredible pictures pass me by; I wonder if they will let me go out on the winch?!