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5 Avalanche Rescue Tips For Search & Rescue Teams

Avalanche Rescue Tips For Search And Rescue Teams

With the rising popularity of outdoor adventure vacations, more and more people are venturing into avalanche territory. If you’re a first responder called to save someone buried in an avalanche, it’s essential to understand basic search and rescue principles. It’s equally important to have the right transport equipment to navigate the terrain. At KIMTEK Corporation, we provide top-tier skid units for rescue side-by-side and utility task vehicles.

5 Tips For Avalanche Search & Rescue

  1. Understand the terrain.
  2. Find out where the victim was last seen.
  3. Deploy beacons and probe lines accordingly.
  4. Shovel strategically, using gravity to your advantage.
  5. Be wary of potential secondary avalanches by taking all necessary precautions.

1. Understand The Terrain

In any rescue mission, it is essential to understand the terrain you’re working with. This can mean surveying the landscape, developing an emergency response plan, and running practice drills before incidents happen. When deploying a rescue ATV or UTV for avalanche rescue, ensuring the vehicle is capable of traversing rough and unstable terrain is crucial. Our wildland skid units for UTVs are a safe and reliable way to transport search and rescue personnel and equipment over challenging terrain.

It is also vital that your rescue personnel are well-trained in the capabilities and limits of their tools and vehicles and take greater precautions when embarking upon rescue operations in unfamiliar terrain. Taking these steps before deployment may prevent worrisome situations from becoming catastrophic.

2. Find Out Where The Victim Was Last Seen

Figuring out where the victim was last seen may just be the first piece of a larger puzzle, but it could make all the difference in getting them home alive and well. Thoroughly interviewing those who last saw them and assessing all available evidence can reveal valuable leads.

Everyone involved must collaborate to ensure that every avenue is explored and every possibility has been considered. Every second counts when searching for a missing person, so it’s essential that this crucial step of investigation be met with urgency, sensitivity, and attention to detail.

3. Deploy Beacons & Probe Lines Accordingly

The deployment of beacons and probe lines should be done with great care because incorrect placement can cause major interference with aircraft navigation systems, putting passengers and crew at risk. Fortunately, new technology helps ensure accurate placement with computer-aided navigation systems, providing a level of accuracy far beyond what was possible just a few years ago.

You can remove the guesswork from the equation by staying up-to-date with the tech and taking a systematic approach when setting up the devices. For example, you can locate them along parallel flight paths so that aircraft pilots can accurately and safely line up their flights.

4. Shovel Strategically: Gravity Is Your Friend

When shoveling snow, it is important to remember the power of gravity. Shovels with ergonomic designs can help you leverage gravity to make your job easier. Understanding how and when to use this invisible force to your advantage can help you tackle the slopes more efficiently.

Try keeping your loads as close as possible to help them move downhill faster and with more precision. Also, beware that the victim might be stuck in an awkward, contorted position, so be sure to shovel carefully and follow the torso to their head.

5. Beware Of Secondary Avalanches

When traveling in the backcountry, always beware of potential secondary avalanches. By factoring in wind speed, snowpack strength, forecasted weather patterns, terrain topography, and other factors, your group can plan how to stay safe. Always take the necessary precautions, such as staying together in groups, approaching steep slopes with extra caution, and having a designated spot for shelter.

Emergency Response Supplies For Avalanche Search & Rescue

In the event that someone is caught in an avalanche, having a well-prepared and thoroughly-equipped search and rescue team can mean the difference between life and death. Here at KIMTEK Corporation, we produce and ship high-quality skid units for UTVs and rescue side-by-side vehicles internationally. For up-to-date aluminum diamond-plate skid units, browse our MEDLITE inventory today.

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