Knowledge transfer between Switzerland and Nepal in the rescue sector is a major challenge and responsibility.
Rescue Operations in the death zone
In 2005, a team from Zermatt traveled to Pakistan to rescue a Slovenian extreme climber who had been stuck for five days.
The same climber needed help again in 2009, this time in the Nepalese Langtang Lirung massif at 6000 meters above sea level. The rescue was successful, but the unfortunate mountaineer has died since then. It was the first direct rescue in Nepal. From that time on, the expedition leaders and trekking guides knew that Air Zermatt's alpine rescue technology could even be used in the Himalayas up to 6950 meters above sea level. In discussions with the Nepalese authorities and helicopter companies, it quickly became clear that we had to act: If Air Zermatt would only put a team on standby for the peak season, which would only travel to Nepal if necessary to carry out any rescue operations, then we could, at most, recover corpses. So, there was only one option for us: We had to train the Nepalese pilots and mountain rescuers. This "knowledge transfer" was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Zermatt Emergency Medical Center, the community of Zermatt, our main sponsor Hamilton, many private donors and, of course, Air Zermatt.
Mountain Rescue Trainings
Since the end of 2011, Nepal has had an independent, operational and efficient rescue team. We train the Simrik Air rescue crew in Nepal, compile theory and training documents adapted to the country, and are available day and night as advisors to our pilot colleagues in difficult rescue situations. The rescue team’s standard of safety can only be continuously improved through regular training and further education.
Gerold Biner, CEO of Air Zermatt AG
The Earth C-Air Association
The Earth C-Air association was founded in 2015 in the wake of the devastating earthquake in Nepal. Since we are familiar with the region in the Himalayas through several training missions, we feel committed to helping locally. Earth C-Air is a non-profit association with the following mission:
- Training and further education of mountain rescuers, in the air and on the ground
- Global relief, development aid and humanitarian assistance
- Promotion of social and medical projects
- Further information and activities can be found at www.earth-c-air.com
We are very grateful for the united and spontaneous support – many thanks!