In the wild and remote hills of the Czech Republic, the Horská Služba (HS), or the Mountain Rescue Service, was founded in 1935. Today, a hundred professional rescuers, supported by 350 volunteers, carry out an average of 7,200 missions per year.
From the rolling hills of the Bohemian Uplands to the soaring sandstone spires of Bohemian Switzerland, the landscape of the Czech mountains is as varied as it is beautiful. The area offers hiking, skiing and climbing for every level and is visited year-round by domestic and international tourists alike. Should they get in trouble, the Mountain Rescue Service will come to their aid.
The most demanding rescues take place in winter when heavy snowfall, avalanche risk and freezing temperatures make for an extremely challenging environment. Confronted with rapidly changing weather, demanding terrain, and an unprecedented volume of tourist traffic, the Mountain Rescue Service has relied on Tilak gear to keep them warm, dry, and safe.
At present, eight Tilak models are used by the HS, creating a complete layering system adjustable for any conditions. Committed to the highest quality materials, Tilak uses GORE-TEX®, Pertex® and Climashield® fabrics. Synthetic, continuous filament insulation by Climashield® was used in the Ketil jacket, a packable and light insulation layer protecting the rescuers against the cold during the long hours synonymous with winter missions. The best warmth-to-weight properties of the Ketil were ensured by the use of Climashield® Apex 67 g/m2, making it as durable as it is warm.
All of the Tilak garments in use by the Mountain Rescue are identical to the regular consumer line, with only two minor changes. First, the color pattern and detail were adjusted to represent the iconic HS uniform. Second, an even warmer version of the Ketil jacket — too warm for regular use — is made to order for the rescuers who spend long hours in the snow, often at night.
The Tilak offices and manufacturing are based in Šumperk, a picturesque mountain town where the company offers service and repair for their products.
For the safety and efficiency of the Mountain Rescue Service, partnering with the most reliable providers of cutting-edge gear is as important as the continuous training and development of rescue techniques and procedures. With the right equipment, those risking their lives to save others stay safe all year round.