International Commission for Alpine Rescue

The International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) was founded in 1948. ICAR is an association under Swiss law , with its seat in Kloten , Switzerland . It is an independent, worldwide organization whose mission is to provide “a platform for mountain rescue and related organizations to disseminate knowledge with the primary goal of improving mountain rescue services and their safety” . ICAR currently has 85 members organizations in 34 countries worldwide. The main language is English, with German and French being official ICAR languages ​​too. ICAR does not pursue any commercial purposes and is not profit oriented.

The top organizational body is the ICAR Assembly of Delegates, where member organizations are represented by members of the membership. The ICAR Assembly of Delegates usually takes place in the ICAR Convention, which is alternately organized by one of its member organizations.The ICAR Assembly of Delegates to the ICAR Executive Board (President, Vice-President, Treasury, Technical Commission Presidents and Assessors, all of them volunteers), which takes care of the daily business through the year. For administrative tasks (correspondence, web-mastering) there is an ICAR Office, staffed 12 hours weekly, located at Zürich Airportin Switzerland, financed by ICAR and the ARS Alpine Rettung Schweiz member (Alpine rescue Switzerland), hosting it. ICAR has 4 Technical Commissions, which are published on the ICAR website. Together these commissions cover all aspects of mountain rescue:

ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission

The ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission is concerned with all aspects of technical ground research and rescue techniques, particularly in mountainous environments. Terrestrial rescue is essentially a transportation issue, providing patients from a place of care to a place of care, and there is a broad array of fields and conditions to which rescue teams respond, and accordingly the technical systems are varied and diverse. Our main task is providing an environment in the field of international knowledge, experience, and methodology. The ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission meets annually and is elected president and vice-president. A key theme or topic is the subject of exchange of information, presentations, demonstrations and experiences. Where there is interest in further examination of A working group made up of volunteers is trained and presented to the commission. This work can lead to consensus based recommendations. The ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission also has the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission where there is common interest, such as avalanche rescue techniques and systems, and a portion of the meetings are held jointly. Additionally, the ICAR Terrestrial Rescue Commission and the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission alternately organizes a practical field demonstration day before the annual conference, open to all commissions. Evacuation of the surface of the earth by helicopters As such, there are also common cross-over challenges between terrestrial rescue, air rescue and medical aspects.

ICAR Air Rescue Commission

The ICAR Air Rescue Commission is composed of experts, pilots, HEMS and ICAR members organizations. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission tasks, goals and targets are the same for ICAR: sharing our experience, learning from others and working on prevention. The commission is run by a president assisted by a vice-president. The Commission is a member of the ICAR Executive Board. Usually the Air Rescue Commission meets the ICAR Convention. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission has different dealings with different systems, different operations, and therefore the commission is used to work on better practices than hard rules. The Commission takes its benefits from the exchange of members and other international entities. The knowledge and experience among the members of the ICAR Air Rescue Commission is huge and the commission provides expertise all over the world. Mountain Air Rescue is the world’s largest database. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission publishes recommendations to all via the ICAR website. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission and the EHA European Helicopter Association have worked together to obtain an overview for the rescuer during the EASA PCDS (Personal Carrying Device System) consultation. Thanks to the cooperation with the withdrawal of the PCDS. Mountain Air Rescue is the world’s largest database. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission publishes recommendations to all via the ICAR website. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission and the EHA European Helicopter Association have worked together to obtain an overview for the rescuer during the EASA PCDS (Personal Carrying Device System) consultation. Thanks to the cooperation with the withdrawal of the PCDS. Mountain Air Rescue is the world’s largest database. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission publishes recommendations to all via the ICAR website. The ICAR Air Rescue Commission and the EHA European Helicopter Association have worked together to obtain an overview for the rescuer during the EASA PCDS (Personal Carrying Device System) consultation. Thanks to the cooperation with the withdrawal of the PCDS.

ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission (including Subcommissions for Dog-Handlers and Prevention)

One of the main goals and tasks of the Avalanche Rescue Commission is to provide a platform for this avalanche search and rescue systems. The exchange of experience and the discussions at our meetings help to gain new insights and to transfer knowledge to the practice. A main task of the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission is to issue recommendations on safety measures to minimize avalanche accidents. Securing the equipment compatibility of avalanche search devices is another focus. Furthermore, the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission has played a leading role in the unification of the European avalanche danger scale. Currently, these efforts are extended to harmonize the European avalanche hazard scale with the North American systems. The ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission also provides information on avalanche accidents. The average number of annual avalanche fatalities fatalities in the Alps is 106. This is calculated from a 20-year record of fatal avalanche accidents in the alpine countries. Adding the number of the fatal accidents in North America, the average is 138. Most people released the avalanche in the field of backcountry. However, a significant number of people died while they were skiing or snowboarding off-track or snowmobiling in the backcountry. For the latter groups, the annual numbers of fatal accidents are slightly increasing. There are two technical sub-committees within the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission: Dog Handlers and Prevention. Adding the number of the fatal accidents in North America, the average is 138. Most people released the avalanche in the field of backcountry. However, a significant number of people died while they were skiing or snowboarding off-track or snowmobiling in the backcountry. For the latter groups, the annual numbers of fatal accidents are slightly increasing. There are two technical sub-committees within the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission: Dog Handlers and Prevention. Adding the number of the fatal accidents in North America, the average is 138. Most people released the avalanche in the field of backcountry. However, a significant number of people died while they were skiing or snowboarding off-track or snowmobiling in the backcountry. For the latter groups, the annual numbers of fatal accidents are slightly increasing. There are two technical sub-committees within the ICAR Avalanche Rescue Commission: Dog Handlers and Prevention.

ICAR Alpine Emergency Medicine Commission (ICAR-MEDCOM)

The International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM), founded in 1948, is a sub-commission of the International Commission for Alpine Rescue. More than 60 emergency physicians and paramedics, experienced in pre-hospital treatment of injuries and illnesses in the mountains members of this commission. The main goal is improving medical treatment and outcome of casualties in the mountains by establishing recommendations and guidelines dealing with scientific and practical aspects of mountain rescue and emergency treatment in mountainous terrain. Of the International Commission for Mountain Emergency Medicine (ICAR MEDCOM). All papers are intended for emergency physicians, paramedics, first responders in the mountains. Moreover, the Joint Commission is working with the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) Medical Committee, the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM), and the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS). Together with these organizations ICAR MEDCOM conducts the World Congress in Mountain and Emergency Medicine, the largest international congress in this field. The commission is also involved in training and training of mountain rescuers and physicians in countries with efforts to establish a system of local rescue groups and a request for knowledge and training. Up to now, we supported races in Argentina (2005) and Nepal (2009) with human and financial resources. In cooperation with UIAA MEDCOM and ISMM (International Society for Mountain Medicine) the ICAR Alpine Emergency Medicine Commission has established the “Diploma for Mountain Medicine” and the “Diploma for Mountain Emergency Medicine” in order to standardize postgraduate medical training or involved in mountain medicine and rescue medicine in mountainous areas. The commission meets twice a year at the spring meeting (on invitation of our members) and at the ICAR Assembly of Delegates where we present our work to the other commissions. Additionally, our members are invited to many national and international congresses to give readings and present our scientific work. There is also a cooperation with the Institute for Mountain Emergency Medicine at the European Academy (EURAC) in Bolzano, Italy and other research facilities and universities. Many members are in leading or consulting roles in their national organizations.

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References

  1. Jump up^ http://www.alpine-rescue.org

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