We’ve heard rescue experiences from SPOT users, but have you ever wondered what it’s like from the other end of the SPOT SOS spectrum?
It turns out a few search and rescue team members across North America are SPOT users just like you! They’ve sent us rescue stories and tips on enduring a rescue situation if you ever have to press the SOS button.
A SPOT user and member of a Colorado mountain rescue team shared with us some of his recommendations on what fellow SPOT users can do to help SAR find you if you ever have to activate SOS.
Be as detailed as you can with your SPOT profile
Under the SOS section under Additional Information, include a physical description of yourself; age, ability and what gear you typically have. If you’re doing a big trip, create a trip specific SPOT profile with your trip plan and anything else a rescue team will need to help you. All this info is pertinent to the rescue operations.
Provide even more info about your trip to your Emergency Contact(s)
Give your emergency contact a detailed trip plan, schedule, info on everyone in your group including gear, training, medical issues, etc. We recommend sending your emergency contact an all-inclusive email about your trip – something you can easily forward to a SAR team and has anything and everything possibly needed to rescue you.
Be patient & plan ahead
Once you press SOS, it could be several hours or the next day before you’re rescued (depending on the circumstances such as weather conditions). Be prepared to spend the night out in whatever environment and climate you’re in.
Have a two-way radio of some type with you (FRS, CB, VHF, etc.) and document this in your SPOT Profile with a specific channel or frequency. If you use the SOS on your SPOT, turn your radio on to the channel or frequency documented in your profile so SAR might have a chance to contact you as they get close. They may not be able to get to you immediately, but establishing communication with you via ground teams or aircraft will drastically help.
Take the most important piece of equipment you possibly can: your brain! Be smart & safe while having fun out there!
These are some great recommendations!
Are you a member of SAR and own a SPOT? Share with us your experience of how SPOT has helped you locate someone during a rescue. We would love to hear them!
Rescue Profile: Bill and Andreas
Case #: 12629
Bill Peschka, a Tour Divide Veteran, was cycling in Wyoming as part of an ultra-distance mountain bike race following the Continental Divide from Banff Canada to the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM.
One June afternoon, Peschka was cycling in Sweetwater County where he stumbled upon Andreas Fassbender, a German cyclist heading north to Canada. Fassbender had been catapulted off his bike after hitting a patch of deep sand with the front wheel. Fassbender had been lying on the ground waiting for 2 hours as he was unable to connect to local authorities due to lack of cellular coverage. Luckily for Fassbender, Peschka had his SPOT handy.
The SOS was pushed and within 30 minutes, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office had arrived on the scene and was looking for SPOT Owner, Peschka by name. Two ambulances had been dispatched because they were unsure of the road conditions and wanted to get quickly to Fassbender’s aide. They loaded Fassbender into the ambulance and off they went.