Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021

Greek sunset © Thanasis Papazacharias via Pixabay.

Reducing the weight of kit is often desirable and Edi Cartaya looked at how Teton County SAR have considered and used lightweight kit and techniques for rescues from a cave system in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness. Local laws prevent the use of mechanised transport, including helicopters. Even a wheel on a stretcher can only be used on a live rescue! A fascinating insight into how they’ve addressed the issues they face. Klaus Opperer presented the Mountain Rescue International Facebook group, an open group that anyone can join. Having introduced this group, why it was formed, how it can be used and is operated, Klaus goes on to look at five key lessons learned from operating it. In the first, ‘Some people and organisations do really good media work’, Keswick MRT is among the three examples cited. ‘Innovative Analytic Tools and Practices for Wilderness Search and Rescue in Bosnia and Herzegovina’ looked at software tools developed to aid search decision making. The final presentation was about drones, their many uses and potential uses, and the huge positive impact they have and are likely to have on mountain rescue in the coming years, as well as the hazards they present. We were introduced to the ICAR Drone Working Group and what it aims to achieve, with a request for delegates with relevant experience to volunteer to join the group. The uses drones are being put to and their potential is really quite incredible. DAY 4 Dr John Ellerton began with some very uplifting and heartfelt words of appreciation both for those presenting and behind the scenes (11:14). The first session, by Marcel Meier of Alpine Rescue Switzerland (ARS), featured a very moving case study of a missing elderly gentleman to illustrate the importance of cooperation and good teamwork between rescue helicopters and search dog teams. Another inspirational and joined-up picture, from Norway, with the introduction to the Shared Resource Information Repository. Stig Mebust, operations manager with the Norwegian Search and Rescue Dogs, shared his experience with the system. It sounds impressive and provides functionality on assets nationally, in the MRMap, SARCALL, SARCALL App arena, with a hint of JESIP. ‘Effects of Acute Altitude Exposure on Decision Making in HEMS and CPR Quality in Mountain Rescue’, from Giacomo Strapazzon (CNSAS/Eurac Research, Italy) and Marika Falla (University of Trento),

explained the research and its findings. Simulating being at altitude was accomplished using the terraXcube, a new facility in Italy ( Anyone with an interest in accidental hypothermia in a mountain rescue setting, will be keen to watch ‘Latest research on Clinical Staging of Hypothermia and its Implications for Mountain Rescue’. Martin Musi (Rocky Mountain Rescue, University of Colorado) presented a proposal for a modified Swiss Staging System for hypothermia. Fabrice Legay (EASA) gave an update on the EASA regulation that may impact on mountain rescue, around use of hoists, HEMS operations and drones.

Finally, in ‘Search Mapping Techniques’, Matt Jacobs, a SAR volunteer in California was very impressive and a must-watch for any search manager, looking at the techniques possible with online mapping and how they can assist in search planning and management. Whilst he focused on the techniques and not specific tools, he is the creator of the SARTOPO website used in his presentation. Again, very impressive. I have to say I’ve honestly been blown away with what ICAR and Topograph Media have managed to achieve with the virtual conference, in terms of quality, content and approach, particularly in the circumstances. Top marks to all involved. ✪

Time from start

Welcome and Introduction

Charley Shimanski Franz Stämpfli Dr John Ellerton Stephanie Thomas Charley Shimanski Shimanski, Gillermet Renaud Gillermet

03:30 10:20 16:06 49:06 54:08 00:00 22:56 00:00 28:36 12:10 36:49 00:12 28:09 00:31 24:58 06:15 32:52 00:25 29:29 00:00 26:28 14:10 42:00 00:00 30:28

Day 1: Part 1

Welcome, Introduction and Opening COVID-19 Effect on Mountain Rescue

COVID-19 Effect on MR (Avalanche Commission) COVID-19 Effect on MR (Air Rescue Commission)

Accidents and Incidents in Helicopter Rescues European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

Day 1: Part 2 Day 1 - Part 3 Day 2 - Part 1 Day 2 - Part 2

Dynamic Hoisting Operations

Oliver Kreuzer

IFR Flight and Mountain Rescue – Risk Management

Renaud Gillermet

Avalanche Accidents

Michael Finger

Psychological First Aid and Avalanche Case Study

Cody Lockhart, Jen Reddy

Death in New Zealand Avalanches

Dr Malin Zachau


Paal, Macias , McIntosh, Genswein

Death Registry

Dr John Ellerton Klaus Wagenbichle

Day 2 - Part 3

Avalanche Rescue Operation Dachstein

Near Miss Reporting

Dale Wang

Day 3 - Part 1 Day 3 - Part 2 Day 3 - Part 3 Day 4 - Part 1 Day 4 - Part 2 Day 4 - Part 3

Ongoing Developments in Ireland

Alan Carr

Lightweight MR Kit in Alpine Cave Rescue in the Tetons

Edi Cartaya

Connecting the Community

Klaus Opperer

Innovative Analytic Tools and Practices for WSAR

Bojan Šunji

Drone Working Group

Shimanski, Barbisch Guillermet,

With Teamwork to Success New Call-out System in Norway

Marcel Meier (ARS)

Stig Mebust

Acute Altitude Exposure and Decision Making in HEMS Latest Research on Clinical Staging of Hypothermia

Giacomo Strapazzon

Martin Musi

EASA Update

Renaud Guillermet, Mr. Fabrice Legay


Search Mapping Techniques

Matt Jacobs

Table: Conference programme with links to the recordings and offset times for each presentation.



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