Leonardo and CNSAS Lay the Foundations of Future Helicopter Rescue Through Cooperation Agreement for Joint Development of New Capabilities
Today, helicopters are indispensable in mountain and wilderness medical rescue. The Italian Alpine Rescue and Leonardo – two prime Italian players with global recognition – will work together to develop even more effective technologies, solutions and training.
With the challenge of further improving of the technologies that are already saving many human lives today and the development of new operative and training solutions to make helicopter rescue more efficient and the deployment of rescue personnel safer, Leonardo-Finmeccanica together with the Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico - CNSAS) signed a cooperation agreement on 20 December. These two Italian organizations are the benchmark, even internationally, in mountain and wilderness medical rescue. In this area, helicopters are now a strategic resource to save human lives, successfully completing the most complex missions.
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The agreement was signed during an official ceremony held at the Leonardo facility of Vergiate, just before the start of the winter season and attended by the top representatives of CNSAS and Leonardo Helicopters in front of the new AgustaWestland AW169, the latest Leonardo model, which is set to become one of the key players in the sector of international helicopter rescue.
The document signed today strengthens a cooperation that has been a reality in the field for years, since the Alpine Rescue personnel started operating on board helicopters produced by Leonardo.
The three-year, renewable cooperation agreement entails setting up a joint working group which aims to exchange technical-operative information for an appropriate assessment of Leonardo rescue aircraft models’ technical specifications, mission equipment and cabin layout for a further enhancement of efficiency and effectiveness. The two partners will also evaluate the new rescue techniques and how to align the new products to the modern operational requirements.
The agreement also includes the definition of standards and protocols for training personnel of CNSAS and of the medical and emergency crews that operate in helicopter rescue, sharing the expertise of Leonardo and CNSAS in the sector. The partners will focus, in particular, on team work, the understanding by rescue personnel of aeronautical aspects and critically injured patient care. Training will also cover the use of a rescue hoist, particularly in combination with a litter. The future development, by Leonardo, of a training centre designated for medical rescue and emergency will be able to benefit from the technical opinion of CNSAS. In the future, CNSAS will also look at the possibility of supporting Leonardo with its own personnel, for training the Company’s national and international customers who operate in the HEMS/SAR sector (Helicopter Emergency Medical Service / Search and Rescue).
The grounds for excellence
The characteristics of the Italian geography, crossed by two major and long mountain ranges with a high concentration of residential areas and places of great social, environmental and economic significance, make Italy a worldwide landmark for mountain activities and, consequently, a model for the relevant rescue capabilities. In 2015 alone, 2,800 helicopter mountain rescue missions were carried out in Italy. The figures for 2016 are set to be higher, in view of the rescue efforts following the recent earthquake in Central Italy. The cooperation between Leonardo and CNSAS sets the bar even higher, to work today for the helicopter rescue of the future.
Source : Leonardo, A Finmeccanica Company - view original press release