Recco Avalanche Rescue System
RECCO® is an avalanche rescue system utilized by 650 rescue organizations worldwide to assist in the efficient location of burials. First introduced in 1983, the technology was developed by Magnus Granhed with the cooperation of Stockholm's Royal Institute of Technology in response to his personal experience with an avalanche tragedy. Since then, the system has proven itself effective in the field and been adopted by an extensive network of major ski resorts, helicopter skiing operations and search-and-rescue organizations in Europe, Japan and North America.
The RECCO system enables rapid directional pinpointing of a victim’s precise location using harmonic radar. The two-part system consists of a RECCO® detector used by organized rescue groups and RECCO® reflectors that are integrated into apparel, helmets, protection gear or boots.
There is no learning curve for use of the RECCO reflector. The piece can't be forgotten since it is permanently attached and it needs no batteries to function. The manufacturer has taken responsibility for incorporating the reflector into their design, so no additional investment is required of the consumer. RECCO reflectors do not prevent avalanches nor do they guarantee location or survival in the event of a burial, but they do assist organized rescue crews in pinpointing the burial location.
Although similar in search procedure to transceivers, the RECCO system is not intended for self-rescue and is not an alternative to transceiver use in the backcountry. Complementary in function, the system is an additional tool that does not interfere with other rescue methods such as avalanche dogs, transceiver searches or probe lines. The RECCO system facilitates a faster organized search for rescuers and provides skiers and snowboarders with one more chance to be found in time.
The information brochure "the plan" from Recco is here available.