Everything is articulated with the national government for the hiring of 55 helicopters, one of which for Madeira. Since the competition is completed and awarded, it automatically comes to Madeira,” said Miguel Albuquerque, noting that the forecast points to 15 June, so as to cover the summer period.
The chief of the Madeiran executive made these statements at the Regional Civil Protection Service, where he went to deliver two drones and personal protection material for mountain rescue and rescue teams.
Miguel Albuquerque recalled that a sum of 1.2 million euros was entered in the Regional Budget for 2018 to cover the rental of the helicopter.
The Regional Civil Protection Service has, however, delivered individual protection equipment to the 95 members of the various mountain rescue teams in the autonomous region, representing an investment of 65 thousand euros.
“The region is increasingly turning to tourism, and we have to worry more about the associated risks, with the increase of people moving in the mountains,” said the service’s president, José Dias, adding that all fire-fighters in the region have a team specialising in this type of operation.
“We have had about 100 mountain rescue operations [in 2017], especially in the levadas (irrigation canals that cross the island), and there is a significant increase in the number of actions, since there is also more tourism, and more people to take care of, “he explained.
José Dias emphasised, on the other hand, that the time of each rescue operation has been decreasing, which means that the teams are “increasingly efficient” because they are also aided by more effective means, such as drones – today two – and a computer application that allows people to be quickly and accurately located in the mountains.