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  • Writer's pictureSavoie Hélicoptères

Helicopter training for ski rescuers at Saint Crépin

Ski rescuers are trained in the use of helicopters.

Le Dauphiné Libéré - January 01, 2024

The start of the season always brings its share of refresher courses for resort personnel. For three days, all Vars and Risoul ski patrollers received half-day training in the use of helicopters in piste rescue operations.

Savoie Hélicoptères' Écureuil B3E lands in DZ 2 at Vars. The trackers admire this new machine with its modern graphics. The objective is to ensure safety for them, for us, for the victim, but also for the people on the ski area," explain Maxime Gaillard, pilot, and David Colomban, flight assistant. When we're called by the piste rescue centre, they tell us which DZ we have to go to. And it's the pisteurs who land us and load the victim into the machine.

A reminder and new features

Around the aircraft, the trackers have to be alert to everything: blades, rotor, possible cables and anything else that could fly off as the machine approaches. "They have to be able to warn us of anything unusual, like the presence of a drone, and anything that could be potentially dangerous." The trackers will have been trained not only to land the machine, but also to give useful information to the radio, and to handle doors and baskets for skis and bags. The vast majority of pisteurs have already worked with the helicopter in previous winters, but a refresher course won't hurt, especially as there are new regulations and a new stretcher. "This €40,000 stretcher complies with European standards and is certified for helicopter transport of injured persons," explains the Savoie Hélicoptères team. The Forêt Blanche ski area has a grid system, with some 60 DZs. During a winter season, the number of helicopter interventions here varies from 200 to 450.

secouristes en hélicoptères




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