MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
On December 27, Russia celebrates the Day of the Rescuer. The emergency rescue service has been operating at the Moscow Aviation Center since 2019, and it includes 27 station wagons.
How to quickly help those who are lost, got into an accident in a remote area or suffered in a hard-to-reach place – where the car will not reach and the patrol boat will not reach? Air rescuers decide this issue in Moscow Moscow Aviation Center (MAC). This team of professionals will not be stopped by wind, frost, accidents or traffic jams. They will always come to the rescue in the shortest possible time, showing professionalism and courage.
On the eve of Rescuer Day, a mos.ru correspondent attended a demonstration training session for the center’s professionals and learned how the capital’s air rescuers work.
Air rescuers of the Moscow Aviation Center begin their training at the Severnaya parking lot of the Ostafyevo airfield in the TyNAO. Experts explain that it is so named not only for geography, but also because it is really always colder here than in other parts of the city and the airfield. On a snow-covered field, the frost is felt much stronger.
On “Severnaya”, in addition to rescuers, a fire-fighting helicopter – a red-sided Ka-32A11BC – is waiting in the wings. He is able to get anywhere in the city literally in 20 minutes. Before the start, the gas turbine engine is warmed up, it allows you to take off even at strong subzero temperatures. The head of the rescue service of the Moscow Aviation Center, Alexander Panormov, emphasizes that this is the key advantage of air rescuers – they arrive at the scene faster than others.
At the Ostafyevo airfield, rescuers need to practice parachute-free landing. It allows you to evacuate victims even in the most difficult conditions.
“Most often from the air, we rescue people from the forest. When skiers, mushroom pickers or just walking people stayed there for some reason. A man went after the honey agarics, fell, got a fracture, someone just got lost. It is difficult to get people out of the hard-to-reach part of the forest in the usual way, without a helicopter, ”says Alexander Panormov.
Finally the car starts to move. The propellers rustle, the engine growls, and the landscape behind the helicopter becomes blurred, like in a watercolor painting, either because of the heat of the turbines, or because of the air being accelerated by the blades. Despite its weight, the aircraft easily lifts off the ground and quickly soars up – in a moment it will be above the training area.
Not a feat, but a routine
The practice of parachute-free landing (for which the specialists of the center use a winch installed on a helicopter) and the rescue of victims must be observed from afar. You cannot come close, not only so as not to distract the rescuers, but also for safety reasons. The helicopter creates a snowstorm around itself, and the most peaceful space, according to the laws of aerodynamics, is under the helicopter – almost like in the center of a tornado.
Therefore, it is so important to accurately calculate the landing site. The rescuer drops the rope and confidently begins to move downward. Between the ground and the person – 30 meters. However, the head of the rescue service admits that in the field this distance is about twice as large, that is, just above a 17-storey building.
“In fact, we usually work at a height of 60 meters. The average height of trees in a forest is about 20-25 meters, and when the helicopter hangs completely over the tops, it turns out that it will literally fold trees with an air stream. Therefore, in order not to create an unpredictable situation, we work at the maximum length of the winch, just at 60 meters, ”adds Alexander Panormov.
While the rescuer is closing the distance to the target, it can be seen that he is actively moving his arm. But the specialist waves to the uninjured – these are professional signals to colleagues. Upward rotation means “ascent”, abruptly from oneself – “stop”, and swinging downward means “you can continue the descent”. In addition, by extending his arm to the side, the rescuer compensates for the force of the air flow so that the wind does not twist it on the winch.
In order to get a person on board, a specialist has two devices. This is a kerchief – a special cloth with which the victim is tied up and attached to a winch, as well as a helicopter stretcher. In the first case, a person in a seated position rises up with the rescuer, in the second, a professional will have to detach from the winch, together with a partner, transfer the victim to a stretcher, and then fix them on a rope. For additional insurance, another cable is hooked to the stretcher – the rescuer controls it from the ground. As in the case with the hand exposed to the side, this is necessary so that the air currents do not twist the victim.
Despite severe physical exertion and frost, the rescuers of the Moscow Aviation Center repeat all the elements twice: landing, evacuation of a person on a scarf, and then a lying victim on a stretcher. Training for air rescuers is paramount.
“You can work harmoniously only when the squad trains long and hard. Departures may not be for a long time, and training should be constant. It would seem that there is nothing difficult – to raise the stretcher, but in fact there are many little things, and the price of each of them is measured by human life. In training, you need to provide for all the nuances so that in practice it was not a feat when you take risks, but a familiar routine, “says Alexander Panormov.
Air rescuers are not limited to physical training and first aid. Each member of the squad works with the victims and as a psychologist. When rescuing, he must convey that a person is not alone and he will be provided with qualified assistance.
Danger under control
The emergency rescue service appeared at the Moscow Aviation Center in 2019, and it includes 27 professional universal rescuers. Every day a team of four on duty is ready to help the Muscovites.
First class rescuer of the Moscow Aviation Center, Alexander Shalnov, says that he has made his childhood dream come true in the profession. He is not afraid to jump after the victim from 60 meters – the experience is already 13 years. For the same amount of time he has been mountaineering – this is a hobby that helps him not to lose shape.
“As a child, probably at the age of five or six, I saw on TV a program about the Moscow rescue service. I was so fired up with this idea that as I grew up I fully realized it, – says Alexander Shalnov. “A childhood dream has become my life.”
When there are no flights, the center’s specialists are on duty in a rescue vehicle and go out on fires, traffic accidents and other calls. Professionals are sure that they must be on the alert in any situation, and there are no trips to relax on. Moreover, if for the sake of saving a person one has to take risks, he must be conscious. And yet, any rescuer tries to prevent a situation in which it would be necessary to cross this line.
“We are constantly training, we do it not even within the framework of work: we go in for mountaineering, arrange hikes, for example, in the mountains. Every day we strive to ensure that, given our level of training, a situation does not arise in which it is necessary to cross some dangerous line, so that this training is always enough, – emphasizes Alexander Shalnov. – We were ready and remain ready for business of any level of complexity. I do not yet imagine such a task that our detachment will not be able to cope with ”.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and or sentence structure not be perfect.