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Wyoming rescue chief rethinks value of GPS device


A rescue involving falling boulders leads Wyoming rescue chief rethinks value of GPS device

A couple of experienced backcounty users was on a multi-day backpacking trip, carefully traversing the boulders near the base of 13,809-foot Gannett Peak, when a rock dislodged and rolled into the woman's leg, breaking her femur and opening her from knee to groin. The couple used their SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger to issue an emergency alert to authorities Freemont County, WY.

A few years ago many rescuers felt ambivalent about the technology used in, including Bill Lee, commander of Fremont County's Search and Rescue. But in the last few years, the SPOT-activated missions he's led have been warranted and in some cases, Lee said, including the July 17 rescue at the base of Gannett Peak. SPOTs have become so valuable that Lee not only recommends backcountry users carry them, he'll also make sure at least one member of his rescue team also has one.