Mountain Rescue & Medevac Landings: Why Kestrel is Key to Accurate Weather Readings

Mountain Rescue & Medevac Landings: Why Kestrel is Key to Accurate Weather Readings

When the mountains are calling, rescue and medevac teams gear up to save lives. Highly equipped and trained for operating in the backcountry, these professionals depend on top equipment to help pull off successful search and rescues. Kestrel Weather Meters® is one of their go-to devices.

Weather & Mountain Rescues

While they appear majestic, the mountains can bring severe weather. Mountain microclimates also present their own complications and variables for rescues and medevac landings. For example, suburban areas within close proximity may not have snow in their yards, but the mountains could have several feet of snow. The Kestrel 5000 Environmental Meter® or Kestrel 5500 Weather Meter® offer accurate microclimate data for confident decision making in dangerous conditions.

Having reliable and accurate equipment for tracking weather is especially vital for medevac landings. These helicopter landings are unique in nature because of their sense of urgency therefore, instant, and accurate weather reporting is crucial to determine if it is safe to fly.

Whether the rescue team is on the air or the ground, it’s also critical to ensure crew safety. Heat stress is a serious consideration for mountain ranges in desert climates. Likewise, frostbite and hypothermia can occur in cold regions. Kestrel Weather Meters such as the Kestrel 5400 WBGT Heat Stress Tracker and Weather Meter® or DROP HSD2 Heat Stress Monitor® provide heat stress safety measurements to keep your crew safe.

Using Kestrel for Mountain Rescues

In New Hampshire, Kestrel Weather Meters are used to aid with helicopter landings on Mount Monadnock:

I carry a Kestrel windmeter for use on Mount Monadnock, New Hampshire, where I am chief of an EMS service and mountain rescue team that serves the mountain, the most hiked mountain in the US. We have 115,000 hikers/year, and about 60 rescues.

When we call for a helicopter rescue, the DHART medevac team is able to land on the mountain then help us treat and evacuate a patient to Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. They want to know speed and direction of wind, to help them determine if a mountaintop landing will be safe, so I rely upon my Kestrel to provide the latest weather conditions, which will be often quite different from what their command center predicts, due to mountain weather effects.

What Makes Kestrel Ideal for Mountain Rescues?

There is an array of reasons why Kestrel is the top pick for mountain rescue teams and medevac landings. Some of those reasons include:

  • One of the most accurate weather meters on the market, offering instant real-time readings of localized weather - even within mountain microclimates.
  • Rugged and waterproof construction. Dropping Kestrel in the snow or even on the rocky landscape of mountain ranges won’t cause extensive damage.
  • Vast selection of readings for weather and elements, including temperature, wind direction, wind chill, and more.
  • Some Kestrel models provide a built-in compass, perfect for helping to navigate mountain regions.
  • Portable and easy to take along for flights or on-foot searches

Search and rescue teams will benefit from having a Kestrel Weather Meter or Kestrel DROP Data Logger in their toolkit. Be sure to browse the selection of Kestrel Weather Meters and DROPs, including the portable Kestrel 5500 Weather Meter® or DROP D3 Wireless Temperature, Humidity and Pressure Data Logger®, that can easily clip on a backpack. With Kestrel Weather Meters on hand, you’re on your way to having a safer search and rescue strategy.

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