RECCO & Air Zermatt
February 28, 2019
Air Zermatt and RECCO have been collaborating for more than 30 years. Air Zermatt believed in, and saw the potential of, the RECCO rescue system from the beginning. Today the two companies still work close together to further develop search and rescue in the mountains.
The history of Air Zermatt and RECCO started in the early 80’s. The decision from RECCO’s side to choose Air Zermatt as their developing partner from the beginning was obvious. Air Zermatt is one of the most experienced organizations within the mountain rescue industry.
1983 – Air Zermatt helicopter and the RECCO detector R1
”Beat Perren (Air Zermatt) and Bruno Jelk (mountain rescue Zermatt) have both had a significant impact on the RECCO rescue system from the start, especially during the development phase. ” – Magnus Granhed, founder of RECCO.
“For us, RECCO is a very helpful tool and it has become a standard procedure. I think if everyone has RECCO it would be heaven on earth, because people would be just easy to find if something goes wrong.” – Anjan Truffer, Head of rescue in Zermatt.
Bruno Jelk holding the R1 (1983), R4 (1995) and the R9 (2009)
The first generation of the RECCO handheld detector with a weight of 16 kg was called R1 and was presented in 1983. Four years later the first live rescue was made in Lenzerheide in Switzerland. A woman equipped with RECCO reflectors was localized in an avalanche from a helicopter with this first detector model. The R4 had a weight of 1,6 kg, which was a revolutionary step forward making transportation to the avalanche scene as well as the search much easier. The R9 was the first model with the function to search for both RECCO rescue reflectors and transceivers.
“For RECCO it was natural to collaborate with Air Zermatt and the resort of Zermatt, due to their wide experience and knowledge within the field of mountain and avalanche rescue. The terrain and environment around Zermatt is challenging to say the least” – Magnus Granhed.
RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector
RECCO technology has been used by mountain rescuers and ski resorts worldwide as an electronic avalanche burial search method for many years. With the RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector, the system expands from avalanche rescue of buried people to search and rescue of missing people in the outdoors all year round. The RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector was presented for the first time in 2015 and has since then undergone an extensive development and implementation phase. Austria was the first country to be completely covered by the helicopter system in 2018. In Switzerland there are 2 units right now, and one of them at the Air Zermatt helicopter base.
RECCO rescue reflectors
In 2018, RECCO released new products for consumers. The decision to offer rescue reflectors directly to consumers is motivated by the ongoing global roll out of the RECCO SAR Helicopter Detector, which will be used to search for missing people in the outdoors year round. The RECCO rescue belt, RECCO rescue reflector for helmet and RECCO rescue reflector for back pack are available in the Air Zermatt online shop.
Julia Granhed, Assistant Marketing Manager
RECCO® advanced rescue technology makes outdoor enthusiasts searchable to rescuers in case of an avalanche accident or when lost in the outdoors. The technology builds on a two-part radar system. Rescuers carry RECCO® detectors that send out search signals which are echoed by RECCO® reflectors, carried by the user. RECCO® detectors are used worldwide at more than 900 ski resorts and mountain rescue organizations in 32 countries. RECCO® reflectors are integrated into select apparel, helmets, protection gear and boots manufactured by more than 150 leading outdoor brands. RECCO AB was founded in 1983 in Sweden and is owned by its founder Magnus Granhed and the publicly traded investment company Traction AB (listed on OMX Nordic Exchange Stockholm). More info at recco.com