Minor missions are usually handled by the local work groups.
In major missions people from all work groups in Styria, Austria or from abroad will help. Caver are a pledged community and therefore it is needless to say that we help each other even across borders.
The local Work Groups
The work group of Bad Mitterndorf operates in an area with a huge amount of caves. Because of the winter tourism, especially in the field of back-country skiing, there are also winter missions in this area. Back-country skiers sometimes loose orientation and fall into snow-covered shafts or dolines. Erwin Hüttner of the work group Bad Mitterndorf was one of the most important founders of the Styrian Federation for Cave Rescue and without him it would be a much longer way to go nowadays. We'd like to say - Thank You!
The massif of the Hochschwab is the most important work field for this group. This karstic alpine plateau is very hard to walk on, because of the dense dwarf-pine vegetation. The bad weather (dense fog most of the year) is also a problem if it comes to helicopter missions. The Frauenmauer-Langstein cave system in this area is the longest horizontal cave system of Styria. Also many historical mines, which go back to the bronze age, can be found here.
The area for this work group contains mainly the caves of the so called Grazer Bergland, primary caves and earth mines (Erdställe) in eastern Styria and historical mines. The caves of the Grazer Bergland are well visited by tourists and are dangerous because of slippery clay surfaces and of because of sudden floods after strong rain.
This small work group consists of a few specialists. Diving in water caves bears many risks. Therefor rescue missions afford very experienced and strong-minded cave divers. The required equipment for a rescue mission is very extensive, bulky and heavy. One of the most important factors for a successful rescue dive is, that the divers do not arrive exhilarated on the ground. Therefore efficient help with the transport of the equipment is very important.
The working area of this team borders on foothills of the eastern alps (Rax, Schneealm, Veitsch, Tonion, etc.). Lots of deep shafts on the Tonion, chasms and small- to midrange caves in the upper Mürztal and the Fischbacher Alpen make the character of this area. Mines from back to the early Middle Ages can also be found here.
The caves of the southern massif of the Dachstein demand good skills on the cave rescue team because of their exposed position. Also the well visited historical mines in the Schladminger Tauern are worked on by the Schladming team.
Although the work area lyes mostly in crystalline rock, there are many mostly very narrow caves in marble rock. Many historical mines can be found in this area. The narrowness of these caves is most demanding here. Many caves in this province have a historical meaning or are lying in a protected landscape.