Twiceme Technology and the International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) have committed to another year of partnership. Since the start of the collaboration in 2019, both parties have greatly benefited from the mutual exchange.
Twiceme Technology has over the years had many good discussions with and received invaluable feedback from experienced mountain rescuers and ski patrollers around the world, thanks to ICAR. In the beginning of the partnership in 2019, Twiceme Technology had the opportunity to host a presentation about smart safety and the necessity to further advance safety through smart technology. It was a meaningful event held live for all members of MedCom, the medical part of ICAR, and Twiceme Technology is eager to have the opportunity of meeting the members of ICAR live again soon.
Because of the pandemic and the lack of opportunities to be out in the field, Team Twiceme Technology took every opportunity to sit down and talk about safety with their partners. One day this spring, Christian Connolly, CEO of Twiceme Technology, had the honor of inviting Dr. John Ellerton, President of ICAR medical commission, to a digital meeting where many valuable experiences and insights were shared.
John has been involved in mountain rescue since 1984. It all started in the English Lake District – where the mountains are not so high, but the wind and rain can be impressive, and the winter can bring significant snowfall and blizzards. John Ellerton was the team doctor for more than 30 years, and continued as a medical officer for MR E&W for 12 years after that.
Being the experienced mountain rescuer that he is, John shares his view of what has changed in people’s risk awareness and safety behavior over the years.
“I think people’s safety awareness has changed as we have become more connected. Put simply, a mainstream TV series can film an exciting challenging walk on Monday. I imagine a viewer sees it and says: ‘I want to do that!’. It didn’t seem that hard and there is always mountain rescue at the end of the phone. A few minutes and any basic kit can be ordered on the internet and delivered by the weekend. Basic practical skills and awareness of the environment are very difficult to put across and don’t make exciting viewing.”
“For example, in my rescue patch we have Helvellyn, with one of the best ridge walks in the country. A ranger reports on the weather and ground conditions on the summit every day through the winter. It is available on many websites by 5 pm. When there is snow they always advise on clothing, crampons and an ice axe. They advise on any avalanche danger and widespread ice that makes the ridges much more hazardous. Do people take this information? Yes, but do they act on it? Certainly not always. Underestimating the practical difficulties, the certainty of darkness in the evening and not having the experience to form a dynamic risk assessment seems to be lacking and leads to a significant proportion of our callouts. Of course, we are talking about a tiny minority of the hill going population. Many people are using the real time information that is available to hone and improve their outdoor experiences.”
About International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR)
ICAR is an international association of mountain rescue. Founded in 1948, ICAR is a non-profit organization with its seat in Kloten, Switzerland. The organization is financed by membership fees and valuable partnerships and currently has 123 member organizations in 41 countries worldwide. More about ICAR