The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Risky environments

When I had the opportunity to visit the Luxembourgish Air Rescue (LAR). René Closter, its founder was so kind to make a presentation. He explained the role as well as the history of the LAR, making us aware of how recent it actually is, that helicopters are being used to save lives.

He also shared his motto with us: “stay hungry, stay foolish, stay the crazy kid”

Discussing his motto later on with him, It was interesting to learn how well it applies to the field of air rescue. Where the first instinctual reaction might be, that they need to have clear processes to ensure that they reduce the risk as much as possible, there is another side to it.

Air rescue with helicopters regularly operates in an unpredictable environment. They never know where they have to land, what they will find on arrival, and, in the case of accidents, in what situation the injured person is. They must constantly make decisions on the spot and without knowing if it will be the right one. It is a job where only history tells if the decision was helpful.

According to Closter’s accounts, he encountered enough situations in which survival was mainly luck. It’s a job where staying motivated (hungry), living in the here and now, and doing one’s best (foolish) is not enough. Being the crazy kid on the bloc while being very much aware of the situation helps to keep doing the job and be good at it.

Air rescue allows and needs another motto than running a nuclear plant.



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