New rescue helicopter

  28.01.2022 Local News

A new twin-engine rescue helicopter is stationed at the Air-Glaciers base in Saanen for rescue flights during the winter season. “The rescue crew onboard our new rescue aircraft consists of a pilot, a paramedic, an emergency doctor, and, if necessary, an additional mountain guide trained as a rescue and helicopter specialist,” wrote Air-Glaciers in a news release. The entire crew had been trained theoretically and practically on the new rescue helicopter to get used to the new equipment.

The new helicopter complements the Air-Glaciers fleet, which already consists of three such helicopters – in Sion, Collombey and Lauterbrunnen – and occupies a strategically important location in Saanen to provide rapid and efficient assistance in the Bernese Oberland, Valais, Vaud and Fribourg.

Optimal medical care
According to the news release, the EC135, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters, is the most widely used rescue helicopter globally and meets Swiss and European specifications for rescue flights. The aircraft is equipped with a 50-metre winch, disposes of an interior laid out for patient transport, and is certified for night flights. The spacious cabin allows for optimal medical care of patients, who can be loaded and unloaded on the stretcher from the side or through the large rear door.

Investment in the future
“Sure, such an investment has its price – several million Swiss francs, not counting crew training,” admitted Air-Glaciers CEO Bernard Vogel. “It is an investment in the future.” But after all, Air-Glaciers was founded to save lives and had been serving the public for more than 50 years, the CEO said.


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