Arva Snow Safety Program
AVALANCHE RESCUE: WHAT TO DO
WHEN AN AVALANCHE OCCURS, WE RECOMMEND THE APPLYING THE FOLLOWING BEST-PRACTICES GUIDELINES TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF RESCUING A BURIED VICTIM.
Call search and rescue
As soon as the avalanche occurs, you should immediately call search and rescue. In Europe dial 112 to reach emergency services, and make sure that you provide the following specific information (WWWHWW):
- Where? The precise location / GPS coordinates
- Who? The identity of the person calling
- What? An avalanche, and the need for mountain search and rescue services
- How many? Caught/Buried/Injured/Conducting the search
- When? The time of the accident
- Weather? Weather? Visibility/Wind/Obstacles for a helicopter landing
The ALIROSS method
If you are in a group, organize the rescue in the following manner:
- Alert : sound the alert.
- Leader : designate a leader. Their role is to organize and coordinate what to do during the rescue.
- Information : gather as much information as possible. The number of victims, the burial zone, surface clues, and the potential risk for a secondary avalanche.
- Receive : switch all transceivers in to search or standby mode.
- Organization : define everyone’s role. Beacon search, probing, shoveling.
- Search : locate and dig out the buried victim. Administer first aid. Continue to keep rescuers informed.
- Search and rescue professionals : prepare for SAR to arrive (landing zone, gear, etc.). Make yourself available when needed.