Rescue exercise in Snow Space Salzburg
There are questions which skiers have probably asked themselves: what happens if there’s a sudden power cut and the lift comes to a standstill? How long would I have to endure on the lift? But above all: how do I get down? One thing’s for sure: a complete lift standstill is a very abstract exercise scenario. All lifts in the Snow Space Salzburg area are equipped with separate emergency power, operated by a diesel power engine, so that in the event of a technical fault the lift can be operated until all passengers have disembarked. However, an exercise as follows must be undertaken by law for safety reasons once a year. I’ll take you through the smooth running of the operation.
To conclude it should be noted, that a complete lift standstill is an abstract exercise scenario. All lifts in the Snow Space Salzburg area are equipped with separate emergency power, operated by a diesel power engine so that in the event of a technical fault the lift can be operated until all passengers have disembarked.
The exercise scenario is as follows: two cable cars come to a standstill at the same time, the passengers of both full cable cars have to be evacuated using rescue teams and transported back down to the valley.
The rescue exercise took place on the 8-seater cable car Achterjet and the 6-seater chairlift Spacejet 1 in Flachau. Over 220 rescue workers from the Mountain Rescue, Fire Brigade, Red Cross and Alpine Police met up at 1.00 pm on the dot in the control room at the valley station of the Achterjet for a briefing. After a short welcome by the Snow Space Salzburg chairman Wolfgang Hettegger and an introduction by the head of operations Harald Pfeifenberger, he’s the site manager in Snow Space Salzburg and responsible for the lifts in Flachau, the resuce teams head off to the persons trapped in the two cable cars.
The rescue teams were transported to the designated supporting pylons by helicopter, from Heli Austria, type MD 902. Then one person per team from the total of 13 rescue team climbed up the cable car pylon and using a rolling cable travelled along the carrying cable to the cabins, in order to abseil the trapped passengers. The route of the Spacejet 1 chairlift presented a particular challenge, as the cable car route crosses a storage reservoir. For the rescue from the chair directly above the reservoir and rubber dinghy was placed into the water, with which the passengers were transported to land after the rescue.
The Fire Brigade transported the rescued passengers from impassable terrain back down into the valley, where the Red Cross undertook emergency treatment. Registration of the rescued passengers was undertaken by the Alpine Police.
The official compulsory time of three and a half hours required for the evacuation was undercut considerably. After 150 minutes the head of operations, Harald Pfeifenberger, was able to announce the end of the exercise, all passengers had been rescued and transported safely back to the valley. Following the rescue exercise the cable car company invited all rescue workers plus the voluntary Fire Brigade to a snack at the restaurant “Zum Zottl“.
Photo credits: Simon Guggi