Several years ago, avalanche transceivers became another important tool that transmits signals at a frequency of 457 KiloHertz. The advantage of using these for searching for people in an avalanche is that it is much faster than probing, and works using the “induction-line” technique. Before transceivers came about, the most common technique rescuers used was the “grid-search technique.”
However, to learn the induction-line technique you need more than reading a guidebook, you need to undergo special training. Moreover, when you learn this technique, you must practice it several times during the season to make sure you can handle it if the need arises. The device may need frequent checking to make sure that it is in proper working condition. Therefore, before going skiing, check the device to make sure that it is working. The avalanche transceiver has an electromagnetic
field, and it picks the signals from another transceiver.
The electromagnetic field is a 3D shaped area that surrounds the device and the person using it. This makes locating a victim very easy. You have to use the transceiver in the “receive mode” as you move around searching for victims. If you pass along the flux lines of another transceiver, it will beep to let you know where to dig. This explains the name of the technique “induction lines,” which comes from flux lines.
When you locate the flux line, look for where the signal is strongest because that’s where it will make the loudest noise. The beacon has a visual indicator, and an LCD or LED display.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND
• When using the transceiver, only one person
should pinpoint the signal. Many people using
the transceiver will only complicate matters.
• Try to search faster and watch for a louder
• Use a logical patterns and slow down when
you pick a signal
• Mark the area where you find the strongest signal
• Probe the area you’ve marked and be careful
when you do this
• In case you hit the victim with the probe, do
not remove the probe. Inform accompanying
rescuers immediately. Note the depth of the
victim before you start digging.
• Dig quickly and make sure you have first aid