At SiteGround, we love our work, but we also love to recharge outdoors whenever we can. Even though we spend most of our workdays on our desks, we have lots of avid hikers, bikers, snowboarders, skiers, mountain and peak lovers on our team. Unfortunately, every year, and especially in Winter, we all hear news about mountain accidents with regular or experienced tourists and athletes alike. That’s why when last September one of our teammates shared that the Mountain Rescue Service – Bulgarian Red Cross (MRS-BRC) were looking for donations to rent avalanche rescue gear, we decided to support them on a company level.
At the time, the MRS-BRC were gathering funds to rent the first RECCO detectors in the country – an essential tool that helps teams locate and rescue people who are buried in the snow after an avalanche. Even though they are well-known for their benefits and commonly used in countries all over the world, Bulgaria was one of the only countries in Europe without a single RECCO detector, and the MRS-BRC were hoping to raise funds to get one.
So, imagine the surprise of the Mountain Rescue Service director Emil Neshev, when we reached out to them, and after a couple of talks committed to donating the funds to get not one, but three of the avalanche rescue tools. We ensured the MRS-BRC rescuers will be able to use them for the period of 5 years, since the RECCO distribution model is rent-only. The plan for the three new RECCO detectors is to be placed in the regions of Rila – rescue base Borovets, Rila – rescue post by Rila lakes hut, Vitosha – rescue base Aleko, where avalanches frequently occur, but the good thing is that RECCO are compact and portable, which allows the professional mountain rescuers to easily use them wherever they need to. After SiteGround funded the rent of the first 3 RECCO detectors, the MRS-BRC received even extra donations from other companies and individuals for additional expenses and RECCO equipment.
SiteGround + MRS-BRC Mountain Safety Checklist (+ Phone Wallpaper)
Getting in touch with the Mountain Rescue Service – Bulgarian Red Cross and learning more about the RECCO detectors gave us an even better perspective of how important the right preparation and equipment are. RECCO detectors help mountain rescuers find buried avalanche victims by reflecting the special RECCO reflectors that are already integrated into many mountain equipments. Reflectors can also be bought separately in certain sports shops or online. To help more people have a safe and happy mountain time, we asked the Director of MRS-BRC, Emil Neshev to prioritize three important things we need to know before heading for the mountains:
“To prepare in advance and carefully plan your routes and activities is of great importance for your safety. The good technical, physical and mental preparation of all participants in your group, as well as the appropriate mountain equipment are also essential. Make sure to approach the mountain with respect, do not underestimate it and do not overestimate your own capabilities.”
Following his advice, we decided to create a downloadable Mountain Safety Checklist based on MRS-BRC information, to help everyone, not just our team members, stay safe and enjoy their time in the mountains. It collects mountain essentials for safety and comfort: what items to bring on your trip and the MRS-BRC phone number in case of an emergency you or someone else experiences. In addition to the digital version, we’ll also be printing a Mountain Safety Checklist book to be distributed for free in MRS-BRC rescue bases and Bulgarian mountain huts. You can also download our Mountain Phone Wallpapers keeping not only the good mountain vibes, but also most important emergency contacts, which we hope you never need, but are good to have in handy.
Happy and (safe) Winter!