New Avalanche rescue device - WTF?
Just ran across this article on a new avalanche rescue device but it looks a little antiquated and not so sure it would be used for a live recovery given it's size and bulk - body recovery ok, maybe.
The research team of the PGHM is pioneering a new avalanche rescue device, in collaboration with Jacques Ottonello and La Chamoniarde.
When recovering avalanche victims the rescue teams and first aid workers are often hindered and put in danger by the possibility of subsequent avalanches and loose debris. The aim was to find a solution to the problem of moving snow and ice without exposing people to further danger.
The idea of a conveyor belt was developed, along similar lines to those used in gravel pits. The conveyor can be lowered into the area that needs clearing, allowing rescue workers to shovel snow onto one end, which will be transported and dumped at the other end. The machine can be used in crevasses as well, enabling snow to be lifted away to the height of the floor of a building.
The machine weighs 160kg and measures 3.80m in length, making it possible to be transported by helicopter. The speed at which it works depends on the person doing the shovelling at the bottom. Built out of polyurethane and aluminium, the conveyor belt is powered by an electrical or thermic motor located nearby.
Christoph Boloyan, president of La Chamoniarde said, “at times of serious accidents and in certain complex and dangerous situations, the safety of the first-aid workers must be considered. The idea of the snow conveyor came from this concern, to be used during search and rescue attempts were there is a risk of further avalanches. The objective was to develop a machine capable of evacuating snow and ice quickly.