The enhancement of existing technologies to save human lives and the development of new operative and training solutions make helicopter rescues more efficient and safer when deploying rescue personnel. These objectives form the renewed agreement between Leonardo and the Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico – CNSAS), which was signed for the first time in December 2016 and reproposed for the next three years.
The two entities, Leonardo and the CNSAS, are a reference – at a local and international level – in the rescue sector covering mountains and inaccessible environments, the helicopter is now a strategic resource for saving lives whilst carrying out the most complex missions. In 2020 the Alpine Rescue team carried out the largest number of missions in the history of the Corps (over 10,000 in a year), and Leonardo constantly increases the mission capabilities of its latest generation products, AW139 and AW169, in terms of equipment and performance and support and training services for healthcare and emergency workers. The fight against Coronavirus has influenced everything and provided an extra challenge, the helicopter has been the main vehicle for numerous transport missions utilising special stretchers with biological containment, this was used for the first time in Italy and in the world on Leonardo’s civil air ambulances.
Leaders from CNSAS and Leonardo Helicopters took part in a ceremony that took place close to the opening of the summer season at the Leonardo plant in Sesto Calende (VA) – home of the main training academy of the company where personnel assigned to helicopter rescue tasks are also trained from all over the world.
The agreement strengthens a cooperation that has been a reality for years, ever since the Alpine Rescue personnel started operating Leonardo helicopters. 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 together the new rescue and adaptation techniques for helicopters to modern operational needs, as well as jointly developing the navigation, geolocation, and target mapping systems. The training activities will also include the techniques for using the rescue winch in combination with the use of the stretcher.