International Sign of emergency and behaviour in cases of emergency

Hiking in the rugged nature of the Italian Dolomites is a risky undertaking, therefore take enough time to prepare yourself. It might also pay to read the following hints and advises.

With your mobile phone (if you receive a signal):
When in the Italian Dolomites you must call the mountain rescue on ++39 118.

If you do get in an emergency without being able to call anybody on your mobile phone, follow this procedure:

6 signals (shouts, flashes with your torch, whistle blows or the likes) in regular intervals within 1 minute. Then wait one minute, repeat your 6 shouts etc. Repeat this procedure until you get a reply.
If somebody becomes aware of you, this person will reply with 3 signals (shouts, whistle-blows or the likes) within one minute immediately after your signal. The person then waits for a minute (to give you time to repeat your signal), then he repeats his/her signal. If you have received an answer DO NOT STOP using the emergency-procedure until you have actual eye-contact with your rescuer. When he answers with his procedure he possibly can only hear you, but he might not be able to see you.

Never forget: you might need assistance for yourself, or maybe for a friend or somebody you just stumbled on along your trail.

If you have called a helicopter you need to:
1. find a place where you think the helicopter can land (there is no absolute need for the pilot to land, but it makes things easier for everybody including the injured person) and clear it of all things that the rotor blades could suck into the air
2. stand up, turn into the direction of the helicopter and hold both hands in the air forming a “Y” (=Yes, I do need help). Do not wave (the pilot may think you’re simply greeting him)
3. if the pilot sees you go to the spot where you think he can land
4. turn into the direction of the prevailing wind. If necessary kneel down on one knee
5. if there happens to be snow around wait until he’s landed, don’t move prior to that (if the rotors suck the snow into the air the pilot has only one point to orientate himself: you. So don’t move away, you’re his only chance to get him landed).

TecAss KG des Gerd Heiter & Co.
Angerweg 3b - 39030 St. Lorenzen - South Tyrol (Italy)

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