Air ambulances luckily are not a regular sight around Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois, but today SAMU 11 visited the football pitch next to us to drop off medical staff.
SAMU is the name of the French emergency medical aid service: Service d’Aide Medicale d’Urgence. They own 50 air ambulances, fast and powerful little helicopters than can quickly arrive at the scene of an accident to provide emergency assistance or take patients to a nearby hospital.
SAMU 11 is based in Carcassonne. The number 11 represents département 11 (Aude), the administrative region in which Le Fort Pouzols-Minervois is based.
Tragedy struck SAMU 11 in 1997, when a helicopter with three crew members and a patient crashed. All four of them were killed. A plaque now commemorates this event in Carcassonne hospital. An annual remembrance service is held too.