Mountain service in the Giant Mountains. Illustrative photo.
Špindlerův Mlýn (Trutnovsk Region) – The Mountain Service of the Czech Republic expects a high number of injuries again this summer season. Their number has been increasing in the last five years, last year rescuers had 2,918 interventions in the summer. The development of mountain biking has the biggest share in the increase in the number of injuries, the head of the Mountain Service, René Mašín, told journalists. According to him, this applies more and more to people on e-bikes.
“We see a large increase in injuries among electric cyclists, considering that it is perhaps the older generation that uses them. The number of cyclists has increased, older people have returned to the mountains, the bike will allow them to do this and they can reach the upper parts more easily,” he said Machines. Last year, rescuers intervened in 1,003 injuries to cyclists, the number of owners of e-bikes increased by a third year-on-year. They also register 177 injured scooter riders.
According to Mašín, people are spending weekends and holidays in the mountains more and more often, and attendance is increasing. Adrenaline attractions are created in the campuses, which is also reflected in the number of accidents. Sometimes even careful tourists get injured by accident.
The Mountain Service of the Czech Republic employs 120 rescuers and ten administrative workers. However, they do not plan to increase their number. “Rather, it is mainly about better use of the technology we have, which speeds up and simplifies interventions. The current number of rescuers is sufficient, last year we increased their number in the Beskydy Mountains, where, based on the response of the medical rescue service, we had to man the year-round service in the Kohútka area, where there were big problems,” said Mašín.
The Mountain Service also cooperates with similar organizations from Poland, Slovakia and Germany. For example, in the Giant Mountains, it helps on the Polish side in avalanche accidents. In the Czech Republic, he is most often in contact with the medical rescue service and the air rescue service. For example, last year a helicopter from Hradec Králové intervened in around five dozen cases.
The mountain service is established by the state, financed by the Ministry of Regional Development. In previous years, it had a surplus budget, part of the money was returned to the state. Last year, it was surprised by the increase in energy and fuel prices, and had to cover the shortfall from its own reserves.
This year, the organization has 117 million crowns for investments. The construction of new and reconstruction of older stations and offices will require the greatest costs. Completely new offices and equipment will arrive in autumn 2024, for example, in the Beskydy Mountains on Javorové vrch. Additional money will go towards the renewal of transport equipment, i.e. all-terrain vehicles, scooters and four-wheelers.