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Prestigious prize recognises cross-border Covid collaboration

2021 January 14

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EUROPEAN Air Ambulance (EAA) is celebrating after mother company Luxemburg Air Rescue (LAR) was honoured for outstanding cross-border collaboration during the Covid-19 pandemic.

LAR, which operates six rescue helicopters and six ambulance jets, is the joint recipient of the prestigious Adenauer-De Gaulle Prize for 2020 – which recognises those whose work strengthens Franco-German relations.

From the start of the Coronavirus crisis in March and through the height of the summer pandemic peak, LAR transferred Covid patients from eastern French hospitals where health services were overstretched, to German hospitals and back - making a significant contribution to the relief of overcrowded intensive care units. 

Granting the award to LAR jointly with DRF Luftrettung, the prize judges paid tribute to the professionalism and solidarity shown by both organisations, and their desire to assist their European neighbours. 

“This solidarity of civil society across borders was particularly important at a time of heightened fear and tension in the everyday lives of people in the border region,” said Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe, and Clément Beaune, French State Secretary for European Affairs.

René Closter, CEO and President of LAR, said: “This award recognises the dedication of all our staff who, even during the pandemic, stand ready to intervene day and night to save lives - in Luxembourg, the Greater Region and around the world.”

The Adenauer-De Gaulle Prize, created by the French and German Governments in 1988, is awarded to individuals, initiatives or institutions that, through their work, have made an outstanding contribution to the consolidation of Franco-German friendship. 

The 10,000-Euro prize will be shared with the DRF air rescue team and will be presented – if Covid restrictions allow – at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paris in the coming months.

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