Mathieu METZGER, Zone Defense and Security Advisor for the ARS and Head of the Defense & Security Department, has agreed to take part in the interview game for TECSUP and we thank him for it!
How did you hear about TECSUP?
We were faced with a lack of mobile equipment (other than the generator) providing autonomous power supply in order to transport patients requiring assistance, during the COVID-19 health crisis in early 2020. This is when This is where TECSUP, with its VLA (Autonomous Energy Suitcase), comes into play.
A search for autonomous mobile energy solutions in a context of mass evacuation
As part of the management of the health crisis, we have implemented massive evacuations of intensive care units for patients, particularly in Île-de-France, because the reception capacities of health establishments in the area were saturated. . It was necessary to distribute some of the patients to other sectors in France.
These maneuvers were conducted with all types of vectors available: train, military helicopters, civilian helicopters. We had to adapt these vectors to ensure continuity of patient care during transport, and look for mobile and autonomous power supply solutions.
Which vector, for which missions?
- Train :
Mission Chardon which consisted in the medicalization of trains for the transport of patients. To do this, 2 train sets are mobilized for 72 hours for the preparation and organization of the journey. This vector makes it possible to evacuate 24 patients in one trip.
- Military helicopters :
In April 2020, the army made its equipment available to carry out an operation to evacuate 100 patients in 24 hours. Army helicopters are not suitable for medical evacuation and we had difficulty supplying the equipment with electricity, no 220V available. The army offered us to do a test with the autonomous energy cases, designed and manufactured by TECSUP, which they used for other mobile operations. The test was conclusive, the VLAs were suitable for securing the electrical support.
- Civil aircraft:
Following the conclusive test of the VLAs offered by the army, THALES lent us its VLA TECSUP, to secure electrical support for civilian air carriers for many months.
This equipment corresponding to the needs, we initiated, in May 2021, a purchase of 6 VLA from TECSUP in order to acquire more autonomy for aerial medical evacuation operations.
What are the benefits for you of using VLA?
I would say maintenance (requires little monitoring), securing operation and above all the possibility of operating the equipment indoors.
What future ?
The health crisis is receding, which is positive. As a result, the equipment is less stressed. We are considering using VLAs for other uses in order to diversify the concepts of use of these materials.
A few words about the ARS and the Defense & Security department
This department’s mission is to ensure the preparation of the health system for exceptional health situations, more commonly known as health crises. It is responsible for the implementation of the protection of the health system (delinquency, economic security, defense in general). Among his missions, he is required to manage and plan the ORSAN system (Organization of the response of the health system in exceptional health situations), to make the allocation of equipment (batches of drugs, vehicles, etc.), to program training at the profit of the health establishments in majority.
Photo credit: Franck JUDGE – ARS IDF