Speedy help to accident victims

Yesterday, returning from a day out, I saw on the telejournal images of the awful train crash and a dispute between REGA and Air Glaciers.

It was such a great weather forecast yeaterday, 25 July, that I decided to go to see the revolving restaurant at the Schilthorn. On the journey, the bus from Lauterbrunnen passes an Air Glaciers helicopter rescue base. Then, at the top of the Schilthorn a helicopter passed at pretty high speed: perhaps an air rescue for some unfortunate people.

I remembered this when, back at home, I watched the TV telejournal. It appears that at about the time that I passed through Lauterbrunnen, the Air Glaciers organisation and their helicopter pilots were having a press conference to protest against REGA helicopters being used in cases where the Air Glaciers helicopters were based much nearer the accident scene.

As this report had just followed harrowing pictures of the terrible train crash in Spain, in which there were numerous injured people needing emergency treatment, I could not help thinking that people in need of assistance want that assistance to come as soon as humanly possible.

When I did a bit of browsing, I came up with a page on emergency telephone numbers which gave three available numbers :-

144 : normal emergency rescue
1414 : general rescue by helicopter
1415 : Rega / Air Glaciers

There seems to be some confusion (to me, at least) of whether these numbers are handled at a cantonal office or a federal office. I equally don't understand how a call can apparently be passed, or handled by, Rega alone.

My simple mind says that after asking a few simple questions, a call should be relayed to the helicopter centre nearest to the scene of the accident and which is equipped for to handle the particular type of emergency. Territorial rights disputes should take second place to the time to get the help to the right place.

ps: the clouds came in unexpectedly around the Schilthorn when I was up there. Later on, returning on the train via Gstaad , we passed there before lots of very disappointed Federer fans left. Not as good a day as I had hoped when the early morning TV showed, via a webcam, the Schilthorn looking cloudless!

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