The Recco Reflector is a small band-aid size battery-free transponder which makes you searchable to professional mountain rescue teams in the event of an avalanche.
If you are caught in an avalanche situation the mountain rescue team will search the avalanche area with a Recco Detector, this detector responds to frequency signals of the reflector. The avalanche victim should have a Recco reflector mounted to their helmet, boots or within ski clothing.
Please see the short clip of the Recco reflector & an inaction diagram:
To mountain rescue teams the recco reflectors are a “very useful piece of equipment and is a standard in avalanche rescue”. Professional rescuers use the recco detectors for one reason and one reason only and that is to save crucial time when searching when wearing a Recco Reflector the search becomes a lot quicker.
If you are not wearing a Recco Reflector it becomes a lot more difficult for rescue teams to search for you and manual searching with probe lines and other methods take up a lot more time meaning that the chance of survival decreases dramatically.
Please see the short clip from Mountain Rescue Teams:
The SAR (search and rescue) helicopter service was first introduced in 2015 and is now found in several countries, and offers year-round missing persons services.
The Recco SAR technology is used by attaching the detector to a rope that is then dangled below the Recco rescue helicopter.
When the helicopter flies at a height of 100m, it is able to scan an area that is 100m wide.
When the speed of the helicopter is 100 km/h this translates to 1.2km coverage within six minutes. This equals to 30 football fields per minute.
SAR ski rescue helicopter services are used in the following countries :
1. Does the RECCO replace the transceiver. ?
The Recco supplements transceivers, we, as well as mountain rescue professionals encourage people to get and learn how to use avalanche transceiver devices, Avalanche Beacons are the best tool for rescuing your ski or snowboard companions and vice versa. The Recco reflectors are used for when you need more help then what your friend can provide.
2. I already have a transceiver, Do I still need a RECCO Reflector?
Even the most experienced skiers and boarders forget to carry there transceiver sometimes so you must ensure you mount a recco to your boots, helmet or ski clothing, the recco provides a basic, simple and inexpensive rescue system for all.
You can find pre-installed recco products like the Ortovox transceivers below:
3. Does the recco affect avalanche rescue beacons?
No is your answer. the two systems work on very different sets of frequencies and cause no interference with each other.
4. Can I just put a RECCO reflector in my pocket?
It’s not recommended. The adhesive-backed reflectors are designed to work best when attached to hard-shell boots or helmets however you can sow the Recco Reflectors to the outside of your ski jacket, as long as these are visible and have not been dropped in your pocket they will work and won’t reduce the performance of the system.
5. Where in the world can I find the Recco Detectors?Worldwide more than 950+ rescue bases are equipped with detectors, Please see here the List of resorts who use Recco
It’s important to stay safe and have the correct training when skiing or snowboarding off-piste please check out further blogs below:
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