Summer is just around the corner for a large portion of the skydiving and BASE jumping world. With warmer temps and longer days we also see an increase in accidents and incidents – some of which are bound to be of the variety where the person involved may not be able to communicate their wishes or needs.
Lisa Hutchins of Valley BASE Gear in Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland teamed up with design outfit Le Village and BASE legend Chris ‘Douggs’ McDougall to create this something named the VBG Impact Card. Yikes. That sounded a bit gnarly, so so we got in touch with Lisa to get a bit more information. Her answers below!
The VBG Impact Card – what is it, and how did it come about?
Following a couple of accidents where the family could not be contacted easily, Douggs came up with the idea of having jumpers carry an ‘info card’. The idea is to provide something that everyone can access quickly and easily, so that it becomes a ‘must do’ – just like picking up a landing card (except free!). So, with the help of Arnaud of Le Village Design (who is a jumper himself) we came up with this rather sexy-looking foldout – the Impact Card!
Is it especially for jumping around the Valley (Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland) or could it be adapted around the world?
We hope to spread this far and wide, through all sports too – paragliders, speed flyers, skiers, alpinists, etc. We all spend time in the mountains or risky environments; accidents do happen. Although this won’t take away the heartache in the aftermath of an accident, I like to think if something happened to me, at least some of the paperwork would be sorted. And my family would find out before Facebook did.
If it’s just printed on a regular paper, will it last?
Yes – for a while. But also, next of kin info doesn’t necessarily stay the same, neither does insurance info – so chuck it, print off new ones, keep it up to date! Also it is easier to share and pass this on… (see next question!)
Any plans to make a more durable version (like reserve packing data cards)?
We wanted to make this easy to spread around the world; so instead of making actual cards we thought a download would be easier. Also you can then throw them when the contact info is out of date, for example, and just print off a new one – it doesn’t sit in your wallet out of date for years!
What is a REGA number?
REGA patronage is one of the things you need to get when you arrive here in the Valley; it supports the local heli rescue organisation. This, along with valid insurance, is useful to have in case of an accident/heli rescue.
Any other words of wisdom for BASE jumpers planning to visit Lauterbrunnen this summer?
Lauterbrunnen is a tiny, concentrated community of the most awesome sky people I have ever met. Let’s keep it that way. Respect the rules; they are there to keep everyone – helis, paragliders, speed flyers, basejumpers – flying safely together. It is a delicate balance to maintain, but it’s not impossible.
And if you need any info or advice – you know where we are! Bring on the summer!!
Visit Le Village to download and print your copy of the VBG Impact Card – stay safe and plan ahead!