Lifelong Houston resident Michael Herrera (age 59) began working with the Houston Fire Department in 1978 and retired after 25 years of service. During this time, Michael and his wife, LaDonna, stayed busy by starting a marketing and advertising agency and building a second home in Valley Head, AL. In Alabama, Michael was able to enjoy the fruits of his labor and indulge in his favorite hobby, off-road motorcycle riding (dual sport adventure riding) in the beautiful Appalachian and Great Smoky Mountains. Michael still maintains a home in Houston and enjoys adventure riding in the Big Bend along the Mexican border every chance he gets.
Case Number 15697
Product SPOT GEN3
Rescue Date 10/23/2015
Rescue Location DeKalb County, AL
Injuries Broken collar bone, 3 broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung
4,000th Rescue: Motorcyclist in DeKalb County, Alabama
In Fall 2015, retired Houston firefighter Michael Herrera was alone and off-roading in DeKalb County, Alabama on his dual-sport bike when he took a hard fall. Although initially disoriented, Michael’s experience as a first responder told him that his injuries were more serious than he could see so he reached for his SPOT GEN3® and pressed the S.O.S. button.
Back at home, his wife LaDonna grew concerned when she realized that the SPOT GEN3 was not tracking Michael anymore on his SPOT Shared Page and she knew in her heart that he needed emergency assistance. When she received the call from GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center, she felt a sense of relief when they said they had received the S.O.S. notification and that the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department had dispatched search and rescue to his location.
Michael tells us that “the response was quick and professional.” Within 40 minutes of the S.O.S. activation, an ATV and ambulance were onsite to transport him to his preferred trauma center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At the hospital, it was determined that he had suffered a broken collar bone, three broken ribs and a partially collapsed lung. Clearly his instincts had been correct.
After surgery, we are happy to report that Michael has almost fully recovered and he wants to thank all of the search and rescue parties involved. “Thank you for your service and your quick response. As a retired Houston, TX firefighter, I know the satisfaction of being able to help someone in an emergency situation. Still, it is always good to hear THANK YOU."
Michael also recommends SPOT to anyone who puts themselves in situations where they may not have cellular coverage or when riding alone. “Until my accident, I’d only used my SPOT for tracking so my wife could be aware of my location when riding off-road. It was gratifying to know that my SPOT delivered on its promise when I needed SAR services. I’ve had several riding buddies tell me that they’re getting a SPOT messenger because of how well the service handled my emergency."
“As a professional firefighter/first responder, having reliable, protective gear was of utmost importance. I have carried this emphasis into my personal life as well with good riding gear for my motorcycle adventures, and the SPOT is in my arsenal of emergency gear and protection,” says Michael.
SPOT is proud to have been a part of this rescue and thank Michael for entrusting us with his life.
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