Skiing Rescue Equipment

Vacuum Mattress

The Snowsled Vacuum Mattress was developed for the Mountain Rescue Committee of England and Wales and first introduced during 1994. It was designed for the specific requirements of mountain rescue, to be very robust and easy to use. The fact that it is still the specified product after 20 years, having had only very minor changes to design, suggests that its design for purpose is exactly right.

vacumm mattress

Advantages of using a vacuum mattress

  • It provides optimum spinal support.
  • Circulation is uncompromised, aiding speed of recovery.
  • X-ray compatible.
  • Excellent insulation from surroundings.
  • Unaffected by extremes of temperature.
  • Cleaning is easy.
  • It can be used in whatever is the most useful position for the patient.

Major benefits of the MRC pattern vacuum mattress

In fulfilling all the above advantages, it is,

  • lightweight and very hardwearing.
  • quick and easy to use and to learn techniques.
  • very reliable in use.

It is the only vacuum mattress available that has the double protection of an outer envelope enclosing the inner bead bag. It has outstanding resistance to puncture and consequent damage to the bead bag, and is ideal for use in hostile environments.


  • Unrolled size: 2 X 1 m (79 X 39.5 ins)
  • Sac size: 90 X 40 X 30 cms (35.5 X 16 X 12 ins)
  • Weight in sac: 8.5 Kgs (18.7 lbs) complete with pump
  • Patient weight to 150 Kgs (330 lbs)
  • Push fit/easy release valve – couldn’t be easier to operate!
  • 5 easily adjustable patient straps with Delrin buckles
  • 5 lifting handles on each side
  • Outer cover – highly tear resistent, high tenacity Nylon fabric
  • Inner bead bag – welded PU/Nylon fabric sandwich – highly puncture resistent
  • High density beads
  • Transparent A5 pocket for patient notes
  • Use down to -40C

The Snowsled Vacuum Mattress is in service with all the Mountain Rescue Teams in England, Wales and Ireland and most in Scotland, also with the Emergency Medical Retrieval Service in Scotland, some Ambulance Services in England and also some Rescue Teams in the USA and Canada.

Roberts Animal Rescue Sac

skiing rescue equipment
The animal rescue sac was developed by John Ellis Roberts, who was the Snowdonia National Parks head warden for many years, and who carried out many hundreds of cliff rescues of sheep and other animals over the years. It is used by the RSPCA and others teams around the country, and allows animals to be safely enclosed and removed from their predicament in the best way possible. It is particularly suitable for cliff rescues.


  • Heavy duty PVC tarpaulin fabric and 40 mm polyester webbing.
  • Dimensions of 90 cms high and 90 cms diameter at top tapering to 50 cms diameter at base.
  • The base and lower sides have drainage holes.
  • The top edge is corded through eyelets for animal containment and closure.
  • The base and lower 30 cms are double fabric, and have drainage holes to clear liquid and to help cleaning.
  • All haulage points are triple sewn.
  • 4 carrying/hauling loops at top are part of reinforcement around the base.
  • A loop at the base allows a rope to be attached to manage cliff raises and lowers.


  • The sac completely envelopes, for example, a large sheep (or two small ones), and so significantly reduce the risk of danger to the rescuer from animal movement.
  • The animal is in a darkened space and so struggling is reduced and it becomes calmer, and is protected by the heavy duty sac material from abrasion against, for example, cliff faces, etc.
  • The sewn- on webbing loops provide ample means for attaching rescue ropes, and also for holding the sac away from a cliff whilst being raised or lowered.