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 Post subject: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: July 14th, 2011, 10:46 am 
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Joined: November 7th, 2003, 5:57 pm
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Location: Cambridge Ontario
Good article on SPOT use and misuse by people in the outdoors. I can't believe the attitude of some in using SAR personnel and no thought of the monetary costs of a needless rescue.

http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-ad ... tml?page=1

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: July 14th, 2011, 1:23 pm 
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Joined: February 12th, 2004, 9:28 am
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That's a decent article.

The hiker who was hypothermic at the time she called for help, but then recovered before the SAR team could get to her is a very good example for debate. If there hadn't been an error (somewhere by someone) in reading the coordinates of the 911 signal, then the odds are that she still would have been hypothermic when help arrived.

Putting aside (just for a moment) that she wasn't properly equipped, I think that at the time of the help call it was probably a good action. I won't let her off the hook for not being properly prepared, but I don't think that the example qualifies as a false alarm.

Now to stir the pot - anyone want to bet on whether or not her sleeping bag was down? I'm betting that it was synthetic and that the fill was a key factor in her being able to recover.

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: July 14th, 2011, 1:41 pm 
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Joined: October 24th, 2007, 1:52 pm
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Location: Beaumont, AB
I don't really know what the answer is for dealing with unnecessary 911 calls on SPOT. The article had it right when they said:

Quote:
“The problem isn’t whether beacons should be part of the wilderness experience,” he says. “It’s whether some people should be allowed out of their yard.”


What I do know is that SPOT is valuable and can save lives, as was the case a couple years ago when a climber out with my son fell and was injured.

Maybe the government should take the approach that all SAR calls must be paid for by person being rescued, unless they can provide some acceptable proof (after the fact of course) that there was a valid need for the call.

I believe that with the new devices becoming more popular and flooding the market, the incidences of unnecessary SAR callouts are going to continue to rise.

dave

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: July 14th, 2011, 7:31 pm 
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I had to take a 6 hour course and a 65 question and oral exam just to get my VHF radio license for sea kayaking.
Perhaps it's time that PLBs and SPOTs had the same requirements. Training should decrease the amount of false alarms.

I talked with a couple of SAR Techs about false PLB alarms. They said that they would prefer no cost rescues as they worried about people not calling for help when really needed because of cost. They said they liked find people alive not picking up dead bodies.

cheers Ted

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: February 28th, 2012, 12:21 am 
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Location: Winnipeg
The SAR guys have no issues going out whenever they are called. It is what they do and it is the only job they do, as opposed to MNR and OPP. They are fully funded through National Defence and yes they absolutely would rather a false alarm and chalk it up to a training mission than not call and have to recover bodies.
We have some fantastic crews and techs flying out of 435 Sqn in Winnipeg.

...Christy

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: February 28th, 2012, 11:50 am 
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Didn't read the article, (didn't want to piss myself off :wink: ). BUT these arguments can be extended to most ER visits..... And by the end of the day, it costs a hell of a lot more then the odd SARS rescue (I'll wager)!!

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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: January 22nd, 2013, 8:38 pm 
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Location: Indiana
I bought a SPOT Connect this past summer. It communicates with my smart phone via blue tooth. In early October I was on my third day in the field in rain and sleet and night temps below freezing. I was well prepped but finally decided mother nature was trying to tell me something. I could either stay in my current camp site (and thus stay warm) 2 more days (but cooped up in my tent, which I'd had enough of) and then paddle the 1/2 day or so back to my takeout. Or, (the option I picked) email my wife via SPOT and leave two days early. (email is max of 32 characters I believe) She then called my outfitter who delivered my car to the takeout two days early. I suppose if I'd been less prepped I may have had to use the SPOT emergency beacon if I couldn't stay warm.
My point is that as technology advances and more people in larger numbers aquire the "smarter" SPOT devices maybe some who get themselves into bad situations can "call it" early by being able to communicate to their outfitter or family that they need picked up early. Perhaps in the future they'll even have ready access to "advice" via satellite that could better determine if an emergency responder was indeed needed. That kind of capability on a large scale is in the future a ways I imagine.


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 Post subject: Re: Stories About SPOT
PostPosted: March 18th, 2013, 10:17 am 
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Location: Winnipeg
One has to remember that pushing the little button is a fail safe, not the first thing you do. TRain, prepare before you go, take courses, learn the skills you will need, exercise good judgement, and if all else fails call for help. Skipping right to pushing the button instead of doing all the rest first gains you nothing. Our world is becoming all about pushing the button to get ourselves out of the trouble we have caused.

Before you call the cavalry, remember that someone else is putting their life on the line to save yours.

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