March 2, 2010 – In February, Brent Martin was enjoying an off-road motorcycle trip with a group of riders across a remote desert near Lake Isabella in Southern California. He came upon an injured rider who just crashed her motorcycle. Martin stated that he had only limited cell phone coverage, and was unsuccessful maintaining a mobile phone connection and explaining their location to local 911 dispatchers.
“Being in the middle of nowhere limits your ability to effectively communicate your geographic location, even with cell phones,” said Brent Martin, a motorcycle enthusiast and member of a Los Angeles County Search and Rescue team. “Everything looks the same out there and you’re miles from any streets signs.”
According to Martin, the motorcycle rider was suffering from severe back and rib pain, and her condition was getting worse. After multiple failed attempts with his cell phone, Martin said that he pulled out his hand-held SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™, removed the safety cover and pressed the SOS button.
“This was the first time I had to use the SPOT in an emergency situation, and it worked incredibly. I had purchased my SPOT from REI in case a situation like this happened in a remote area,” continued Martin. “SPOT is a must have in my gear bag at all times. It’s small, light and easy to use. It’s also a great way to keep family and friends reassured that you are safe in the outdoors.”
The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ transmits geolocation messages over a global satellite network from remote locations around the world. SPOT can also transmit an SOS, emergency distress alert in critical, life-threatening situations notifying an emergency response center of one’s location and need for immediate help.
The GEOS International Emergency Response Center received the SOS alert from Martin’s SPOT device with the latitude and longitude of the motorcycle riders. Coordination with Kern County Sheriff’s office had a medical helicopter on the scene within 20 minutes of the first SOS transmission. Martin stated that the first responders quickly stabilized the injured woman, who was air-transported to the nearest hospital for medical treatment. She is currently recovering from her injuries.
The new handheld SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™ is the next generation in the SPOT product line following the award-winning SPOT Satellite Personal Tracker™. Feature rich enhancements in the new SPOT Messenger offer advanced GPS performance in a smaller, more compact size. Since its inception in November 2007, the SPOT product line has helped initiate more than 550 rescues in 51 countries on land and at sea.