The Nome Alaska Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue Unit
Kevin Knowlton, of the Nome Alaska Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue (SAR) Unit sent in a great story of how his SAR team helped rescue someone through receiving a HELP message. Using the buddy system is another great way that SPOT can be there for you in a survival situation. Through creative ways of using the HELP message, such as in this case, we are able to share this story today:
"I am a member of the Nome Alaska Volunteer Fire Department and Search and Rescue Unit. At approximately 5:30 pm on February 24, 2009, we received a tone out for a search and rescue. Upon reporting to the fire hall, we learned that a hunter out alone on snowmobile hunting musk ox had activated his SPOT using the HELP feature. The e-mail message had the hunter’s coordinates and we were able to see on the Google map the type of terrain that the signal was coming from."
December 27, 2008 - January 12, 2009 Climbing Aconcagua Expedition: On January 9, 2009 I summited Aconcagua at 3:00 pm with 5 other climbing partners in one of the worst years for tragedy in a decade. Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside Asia, second highest of the Seven Summits. During the climb in the 2008/2009 climbing season, six climbers perished on Aconcagua, double the usual annual fatality rate. When news was breaking and I was on the mountain, out of 9 climbers, my family was the only one to know if I was all right at every moment. Other climbers' families were left worrying, waiting for a satellite phone that was low on batteries and without a signal. The SPOT was new to the climbers and I found myself repeatedly explaining SPOT's capabilities to other climbers. I used the "tracking" feature to keep my family up-to-date...and now we all made it home safely. My climbing buddies are in awe that I was able to track the whole event. The map can be seen here: http://purebound.com/aconcagua/.
Monday, 23 February 2009 17:04
This revolutionary device is popular now but regular readers will recall that I got on the SPOT bandwagon early. Not because I'm easily impressed by bright shiny gadgets but because it worked as advertised in my field tests and it solved an extremely important problem in my system. Communications. Before SPOT came out I tried satellite phones, VHF radios, FRS/GMRS radios, PLBs, and cellular phones but each of them had fatal flaws. SPOT is not 100% fail-safe either but based on my experience with it, as long as I give it a clear view of the sky and enough time to communicate with the navigation and communications satellites, it is very reliable and the best single communications device I have carried. Period.
Trust me, if there was something else out there that I thought was better than SPOT, I would carry it regardless of the cost because communications is that important to my system. Good communications is critical in an emergency because without it the good guys don't know that they are needed. SPOT not only makes that critical notification to emergency services, it also provides them with the location of the incident. This is especially important in a wilderness emergency where response times routinely exceed "the golden hour". As if the emergency communications feature were not enough to win me over, SPOT also gives me rudimentary non-emergency communications capability so my family and friends know where I am and how I am doing. For a guy that goes solo as much as I do, that is a big deal. What's not to love about this thing?
The SPOT Satellite Messenger is an amazing device. Even if you do not buy my Wilderness Emergency Kit, please consider purchasing a SPOT for yourself or for someone you care about or both. They will be safer and you won't worry as much.
Thursday, 25 December 2008 10:52
I Found myself pinned underneath my big Polaris 4-wheeler in the mountains behind McCurtain, Oklahoma last Friday. I am a retired soldier who trys to plan for any possible emergency. Don't own a cell phone, but am fixin to get a SPOT! Bruised my ego, knee, and collarbone. Could have been worse! You betcha I'm gonna get a SPOT!
Monday, 22 December 2008 14:59
"I found the product very accurate and reliable. It is an incredible piece of technology. Even when I had a problem, a SPOT Sales Supervisor took care of me. I highly recommend the product."
Larrie Fraley, Retired Worldwide Director of Technology Intel Corporation.
Thursday, 18 December 2008 13:07
Well my SPOT paid for itself last weekend. After a solo overnight trip in the Beartooth Mountains of south-central Montana, where over night temps at 8,600 feet hit -25F, I snowshoed out to my truck to find it just wouldn't start. So I changed my tune. Having already sent my family three "OK" messages (one after parking my truck and one after reaching camp the day before, and one that morning while striking camp) I sent a "Help" message and waited for my wife to put my pre-arranged assistance plan into action. Hiking nine miles out of the backcountry to the nearest highway in -20 degrees F wasn't very appealing so I built a fire and settled in. Remarkably, only an hour and a half later a Carbon County Sheriff's deputy plowed his way up the road, stopped his 4WD truck next to mine, and asked if I was the guy that sent a message for help! With his assistance, a can of starting fluid and a long pair of jumpers, we were finally able to get my truck started. Without a SPOT, I would have had to hike the nine miles out, hoped to hitch a ride to town, and then paid at least $300 for a tow truck to get my rig back to civilization. Instead I had a great adventure! Many thanks to the Carbon County Sheriff's Office and my thanks to SPOT!