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Since the original Barryvox was commissioned in 1968 to protect the Swiss Army in avalanche terrain, the brand name has been synonymous with alpine safety. Building on this respected reputation, a new industry partnership promises to heighten the professional rescue standard by integrating a RECCOÂ® reflector directly into the latest generation of the trusted Barryvox PRO transceiver.
The Barryvox VS 2000 PRO will be the first transceiver to integrate a RECCO reflector directly into the unit’s body, allowing the device to be located in the event of a burial both by traditional beacon search method and by RECCOÂ® detector pinpointing. Willy Zurkirch, the electronic engineer behind both the analog Barryvox PRO and the dual-antenna Mammut Barryvox, says, “They are not two competing systemsâ€“the RECCOÂ® system and the avalanche beaconâ€“they are systems that work together. The RECCO reflector adds additional safety to our Barryvox beacon.”
RECCO CEO Magnus Granhed also sees the new partnership as complementary. “We have never seen beacons as a competitor, because we know the beacon is an important part of rescue equipment when it comes to avalanche accidents,” Granhed says. “Yet I know that almost every year rescue people search for beacons that are turned off. If you forget to turn on your beacon, this is another possibility to find it. A second advantage is that if you wind up with multiple beacons buried close to each other or a deep single burial, RECCO would be an easier tool to pinpoint the person exactly. Third, if your beacon is damaged then you have an alternative.”
The professional-grade Barryvox PRO has long been a favorite of rescue workers due to its durable casing, external antenna compatibility and extended maximum range of 120 meters. Response from within this close-knit professional community sparked collaboration between the two companies, Zurkirch says. “At the beginning, it was only an idea to integrate the RECCOÂ® reflector into the beacon because there was no beacon with integrated RECCO. And then I was surprised by all the positive feedback from all these rescue people about this idea. Now you have two different systems, and you have the advantage of both systems in one device.”
The first production models will be selectively released to avalanche rescue experts in Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, and the United States for advanced field trials this winter. Dominik Hunziker, technical director for the Swiss Alpine Club, will coordinate this first introductory stage. The analog beacon will then be made available to all rescue professionals in Fall 2006 through Zurkirch’s Girsberger Elektronik division, which supplies organizations worldwide with specialized equipment for avalanche rescue and training. The company can be contacted at email@example.com.
About RECCOÂ® Avalanche Rescue System
RECCOÂ® is an avalanche rescue system utilized by 440 organizations worldwide to assist in the efficient location of burials. RECCOÂ® enables rapid directional pinpointing of a victim’s precise location using harmonic radar. The two-part system consists of a RECCOÂ® detector used by organized rescue groups, and RECCOÂ® reflectors that are integrated into commercially available products. Although similar in search procedure to transceivers, the RECCO system is not intended for companion rescue and is not an alternative to transceiver use in the backcountry. More information about RECCO can be found at www.recco.com.