ICAR 2019 – conference review

ICAR 2019
Event report

The International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR) Annual Convention, hosted by Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue (Tatrzańskie Ochotnicze Pogotowie Ratunkowe (TOPR)), included 440 rescue professionals from 109 rescue organisations, representing 37 countries. Commission President Charley Shimanski sent AirMed&Rescue this report after the event

With a theme of ‘TEAMWORK’, the convention started with a full day of practical workshops in the field and continued with three days of seminars inside the Nosalowy Dwór Resort in Zakopane. Four rescue helicopters from four different countries participated in rescue demonstrations and test flights.

Conference programme

This year, the ICAR Air Rescue Commission sessions included 90 representatives from 27 countries and 67 rescue agencies. Presentations by an assortment of rescue experts worldwide included reports on:

  • Accidents and incidents in 2018 and 2019
  • VFR air-to-air collision prevention/Limitations of ‘see and avoid’
  • Winch operations in SAR
  • A 1,000-meter longline recovery in Norway
  • Drones as assets and hazards
  • Teamwork in HEMS
  • Critical incident support – psychological first aid
  • Satellite-based solutions for SAR operations

Fabrice Legay, Section Manager - Medium & Light Rotorcraft for EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), led the most significant presentations during the Air Rescue Commission sessions; his presentations on key areas of focus by EASA were well received by attendees. The collaboration between EASA and the ICAR AirCom is important, and our partnership was further strengthened by his presence. Air Rescue Commission Vice-President Renaud Guillermet, Chief Pilot at the Grenoble France Base of Sécurité Civile, leads the Air Rescue Commission work with EASA.

ICAR 2019 2


During the field day, the host team of Tatra Volunteer Search and Rescue performed an impressive medical packaging and hoist demonstration. Rescuers from Alidaunia also performed a rescuer insertion and hoist demonstration as part of the practical exercise.

Attendance by helicopter manufacturers

The ICAR Congress also included special onsite presentations of helicopters and rescue programs representing Airbus Helicopters (through EliFriulia), Bell Helicopters (through ATE Poprad, Slovakia), and Leonardo Helicopters (through Alidaunia). Air Rescue Commission delegates and pilots experienced these helicopters first-hand, through live test flight operations and field demonstrations. The Grand Nosalowy Dwór hotel was the perfect venue, as it included a helipad and other open spaces that were suitable to host three helicopters at the same time.

For more information about ICAR, please contact Charley Shimanski, President, ICAR Air Rescue Commission, US – charley.shimanski@gmail.com

nicolas revello

Nicolas Revello