Mountain and alpine technicians

Mountain and alpine technicians

Rescue operations in the mountains and in an impervious environment are based on the effort of specialists, able to guarantee the success of the rescue missions.

More than 6.000 CNSAS alpine technicians work for safety in the mountains on the entire national territory, from the Alps to the mountainous areas of the Islands, in collaboration with Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (national health system) and 118 (a reality operating at regional level). The Delegazioni Alpine (alpine delegations) are 32, divided into 235 Stazioni di Soccorso (rescue stations).

The intervention scenarios in which CNSAS Alpine Technicians operate are many: mountaineering, hiking, sports activities in the mountain environment, but also the research of missing people and assistance to the resident population.

In order to guarantee a high standard of intervention, all the CNSAS operators must undergo a detailed training plan, which, after the access checks necessary to join the Corpo, guarantees a constant process of training and education. The authority responsible for this task is the Scuola Nazionale per i Tecnici di Soccorso Alpino (national school for alpine rescue technicians).

Requirements for CNSAS Alpine technicians increase together with the qualifications: Operatore di Soccorso Alpino (OSA) (‘alpine rescue operator’), Tecnico di Soccorso Alpino (TeSA) (‘alpine rescue technician’), Tecnico di Elisoccorso (TE) (‘helicopter rescue technician’- see section dedicated to helicopter rescue).

For Operatore di Soccorso Alpino (OSA) qualification:

  • Movement on impervious and rough ground
  • Rappelling on impervious ground
  • Assembly and transport of stretcher
  • Positioning and movement on a fixed rope, using natural anchors
  • Research of missing people test
  • Movement on impervious and rough winter ground
  • Self-rescue on avalanche
  • Assembly and preparation of rescue stretchers

For Tecnico di Soccorso Alpino (TeSA) qualification:

  • Climbing of a mountaineering itinerary with classic difficulty of at least “4°+ UIAA.”
  • Preparation of progression and rescue anchors (on natural and artificial points)
  • Rope progression techniques
  • Sequence of rappelling
  • Loaded climbing down with single rope junction. • Recovery self-rescue systems of the roped climbing party. • Double rope climbing down system. • Recovery systems with tackles.
  • Assembly and preparation of rescue stretchers
  • Basic concepts of topography and orientation test
  • Climbing and descent techniques with ski-mountaineering equipment
  • Avalanche intervention methodology
  • Digital ARTVa device use
  • Anchorages on snow for descent and/or rappelling

For Tecnico di Elisoccorso (TE) qualification

  • Ability to intervene on multiple scenarios with the use of helicopter for access and evacuation see dedicated section