Gold Gondola: the perfect location for the Mountain Rescue Service training

Just like a scene from action movies, the Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia conducted an evacuation exercise on the Gold Gondola. The simulation involved rescuing passengers directly from the cabins, with rescue teams from the Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia meeting "volunteer" passengers in boats above Ribničko Lake. This type of exercise has become an annual tradition on the gondola due to the specific nature of the route and terrain, making it an ideal location for honing the rescue team's skills. The goal was for Mountain Rescue Service rescuers and employees of PE Gold Gondola Zlatibor to train for real rescue situations.

On the first day, participants went through training and a general rehearsal, while on the second day above Ribničko Lake, they demonstrated their practical knowledge and skills. The rescue action simulation involved 20 rescuers who safely lowered and transferred all volunteers from the cabins to the ground. The terrain around Ribničko Lake is particularly challenging due to the steep section at the base of Tornik, making the evacuation exercise more demanding as it requires coordination of multiple teams.

"The evacuation process involves rescuers climbing the poles, moving via cable to the cabin, opening the cabin, accessing the passengers, and lowering them to the ground using ropes. We took advantage of the good weather during the spring period to practice evacuation in the most demanding part - Ribničko Lake, where, in coordination with boat crews and wire rescuers, we lowered passengers into a boat and transported them to land. Special equipment was used for moving along the wire, accessing the cabins, and evacuating passengers regardless of the height," said Aleksandar Ravas, the coordinator of technical rescue at the Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia, adding that these exercises significantly enhance the Mountain Rescue Service knowledge and readiness each year.

PE "Gold Gondola Zlatibor" collaborates with numerous institutions through its operations, promoting responsibility towards both nature and passengers. The evacuation exercise is one of such activities that also involved gondola employees.

"The safety of passengers and employees, as well as readiness for all situations, align with the core activities of our business and essentially our management of the gondola facility. The passenger rescue exercise from the cabins is essential to meet all safety standards prescribed by law in the event of a natural disaster. During this year's activities, 6 cabins were used, and two rescue boats were stationed on Ribničko Lake. Our employees together with partners from Mountain Rescue Service of Serbia, once again confirmed their knowledge and readiness to provide maximum safety to our passengers in any situation," said Bojana Božanić, director of Gold Gondola.

Evacuation from cable cars and gondolas is one of the forms of technical rescue that all Mountain Rescue Service rescuers are trained in, and with regular practice, a high level of readiness and skill is maintained.


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