It’s well known that working as a team makes things easier, no matter what the situation. But forgetting the squabbles and infighting is particularly important when saving a life, like in a HEMS unit. The people in those units are focused on only one thing – making sure the patient stays alive and gets to hospital.

The steady rise in the number of HEMS outfits across Europe could see services competing against one another, perhaps to the detriment of the service. Thank heavens then that the industry has taken a more sensible approach.

An example of this came during an announcement by Bruno Bagnoud, founder of Swiss AIR-GLACIERS SA. He retired from the company on his 85th birthday but indicating the obligation that HEMS owners feel to the public, it was revealed that AIR ZERMATT and AIR-GLACIERS are to merge. This provides a unique opportunity for two leading companies that provide helicopter rescues within Switzerland’s Valais region. Bagnoud said the time to go it alone was over. The two company brands will remain, but they will aim to become even better and more efficient due to their common goals.

AIR-GLACIERS SA operates mainly in central Valais and Bas-Valais, while AIR ZERMATT AG focuses its efforts in the Haut-Valais region. Both will stay at their current operating facilities and will keep their respective management teams.

This perfect partnership brings the opportunity for two pioneering Valaisan air rescue services, created by Bruno Bagnoud and Beat H. Perren, to benefit all those in the region.

Let’s hope that more partnerships like this across all aspects of the helicopter industry are created for the advantage of operators, crews and those who may find themselves in distress high on a mountain side, straining to hear the comforting sound of thrashing rotors, and knowing that help is on the way.

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