Leonardo, CNSAS join hands to build better rescue helicopters


Leonardo-CNSAS Rescue Helicopter: Italian helicopter manufacturer Leoardo has joined hands with Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps for join development of new capabilities, the company said on Friday.

“The helicopter is the indispensable rescue medical vehicle for mountain operations and hard environments. The Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps and Leonardo will work together on the development of even more effective technologies, solutions, and training,” said the Italian helicopter manufacturers.

Leonardo said the enhancement of existing technologies to save human lives and the development of new operative and training solutions make helicopter rescues more efficient and safer when deploying rescue personnel.

“These objectives form the renewed agreement between Leonardo and the Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico – CNSAS), which was signed for the first time in December 2016 and reproposed for the next three years,” said the Italian defence company.

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The two entities, Leonardo and the CNSAS, are a reference – at a local and international level – in the rescue sector covering mountains and inaccessible environments, the helicopter is now a strategic resource for saving lives whilst carrying out the most complex missions.

Leonardo said while in 2020 the Alpine Rescue team carried out the largest number of missions in the history of the Corps (over 10,000 in a year), the company constantly increased the mission capabilities of its latest generation products, AW139 and AW169, in terms of equipment and performance and support and training services for healthcare and emergency workers.

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“The fight against Coronavirus has influenced everything and provided an extra challenge, the helicopter has been the main vehicle for numerous transport missions utilising special stretchers with biological containment, this was used for the first time in Italy and in the world on Leonardo’s civil air ambulances,” it said.

Top executives from CNSAS and Leonardo Helicopters signed the agreement at the Leonardo plant in Sesto Calende (VA), home of the main Training Academy of the company where personnel assigned to helicopter rescue tasks are also trained from all over the world.

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Three-year renewable cooperation agreement

According to Leonardo, the agreement strengthens the cooperation that has been a reality for years, ever since the Alpine Rescue personnel started operating Leonardo helicopters.

The three-year, renewable cooperation agreement entails setting up a joint working group, which aims to exchange technical-operative information for an appropriate assessment of Leonardo rescue aircraft models’ technical specifications, mission equipment, and cabin layout for a further enhancement of efficiency and effectiveness.

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The two partners will also evaluate together the new rescue and adaptation techniques for helicopters to modern operational needs, as well as jointly developing the navigation, geolocation, and target mapping systems. The training activities will also include the techniques for using the rescue winch in combination with the use of the stretcher.

“The renewal of the agreement with Leonardo can only bring benefits to the entire emergency system and to the civil protection area in a broad sense,” said Corps Maurizio Dellantonio, President of CNSAS.

Dellantonio said modern medical rescue calls for development of a multi-agency perspective, where specialised rescue forces are also able to interface with the world of research and industrial production, to guarantee citizens an excellent service.

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Gian Piero Cutillo, Managing Director of Leonardo Helicopters, said: “We have strongly renewed our shared commitment in the training of personnel assigned to delicate operations through a unique vehicle such as the helicopter, through the development of new solutions and capabilities, which allow the air ambulance to perform its task better and better.”

Cutillo said both the entities we will work together on new projects that will allow them to bring the fruits of these synergies on board of the company’s products.

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Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (CNSAS)

Italian National Alpine and Speleological Rescue Corps (Corpo Nazionale Soccorso Alpino e Speleologico – CNSAS) is a 7,000-strong body of specialists, in all Italian regions. It has been operating since 1963, completing about 8,000 rescue missions every year, many of which involve helicopters.

It is a national operative Structure of the National Civil Protection Service and its primary purpose is to assure urgent medical rescue and civil protection activities, as expressly set forth by the Laws of the State.

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All technical operators follow a continuous training process by the National Schools, made up of technical instructors, medical and health instructors, dog trainers and other specialisations: the schools also study and develop innovative rescue techniques, which become an integral part of the training of all rescue workers.

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