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Thread: Good article on pros and cons of high tech rescue request technology

  1. #1
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    Good article on pros and cons of high tech rescue request technology

    I couldn't think of a good overall name that covers cell phones, spot, and PLBs

    This article was in the Conway and Berlin papers but the Conway doesn't require subscription

    http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index....cuetech-013114

    A rescue several weeks earlier in the Northern Presidentials involving the same type of device was essentially someone who got a leg cramp. The victim pushed the emergency response button, prompting a full-scale response, far more, in hindsight, than was necessary.

    I am curious what the going rate for a leg cramp rescue is?
    Last edited by peakbagger; 02-03-2014 at 07:29 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
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    If you can think of a good name, find a bad one that turns into a good acronym.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member DSettahr's Avatar
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    Colin Fletcher had an interesting comment in one of his books, which I've paraphrased below:

    People are substituting technology for experience.
    I believe he said it in response to the proliferation of hiking-grade GPS units originally (which weren't really popular in the hiking community until selective availability was turned off in the late 90's/early 00's). But it definitely applies to the increased use of SPOT pagers and smart phones in the backcountry.

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    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Interesting, Joe and Rick are experts, at one point Joe was the head of the EMS Climbing School in North Conway and Rick is IME. Don't most smart phones have the ability to have a flashlight app of some kind? I suspect it's a drain on the battery.

    Are more people leaving common sense behind or thanks to phones and the increase in information exchange, do we just hear about each case now since they have the ability to call at a moments notice? Twenty years ago, if you had a cramp, you limped out since there was no choice and no electronic forum for your tale of misfortune. (okay maybe 25 years)

    At one point rescuers would not venture in really bad weather. What exactly is bad weather varies but SAR has a pretty high threshold. Is it possible that with the ability to pinpoint where the unfortunate and unprepared are, they may be willing to venture out since they don't have to comb the entire alpine zone for the people who called?

    I'm currently without a cell phone, if I venture out solo without a phone, GPS or PLB am I automatically negligent?
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

  5. #5
    Senior Member RoySwkr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.conwaydailysun.com/index.php/newsx/local-news/111215-rescuetech-013114
    The four likely would not have left Mount Washington alive.
    I didn't think their situation was that serious from the previous article
    http://nhpr.org/post/mount-washingto...ing-and-hoping

  6. #6
    Senior Member erugs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post
    Interesting, Don't most smart phones have the ability to have a flashlight app of some kind? I suspect it's a drain on the battery.
    I have the iHandy flashlight on my phone. It's bright enough to help me along the path. The path between my parents' home and that of my daughter and her family next door. In fact, I love the part of the app that allows me to see a candle flickering as I walk along with my trail illuminated. Try it. You'll like it. But more than common sense says it would not work for long enough to get a hiker miles out of the woods.

    The change in what gear we are expected to carry these days reminds me of the early days of winter hiking for me, back about 15 years ago, when AMC required insulated boots where the lining was removable. Or when it was common to see people hiking in tights with shorts over them.

    So Mike P, you might very well be considered negligent. If not this year, then next.
    Ellen

    Volunteer Maintainer: East Pond Trail

    "Through winter-time we call on spring/And through the spring on summer call/And when abounding hedges ring/Declare that winter's best of all/And after that there's nothing good/Because the spring-time has not come... William Butler Yeats

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    Refreshing

    Finally a balanced article that does not blame technology for poor outcomes, but puts the blame on the decisions that people make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike P. View Post

    I'm currently without a cell phone, if I venture out solo without a phone, GPS or PLB am I automatically negligent?
    You might wish to carry a means to call help if you suffer a fall and broken bones or come upon someone who needs immediate medical attention. In either case, the outcome will be superior with a means to communicate quickly.

    Because some people lack self-reliance or outdoor skills is not a reason to ignore another means of ensuring a safe return.

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    I just want to make a prediction regarding use of these technologies in the Whites and Adirondacks.... In a few years it will be economical for a state to fly drones to search for poachers, illegal land use, and lost hikers, people feeding bears, etc and a new level of debate will occur

  10. #10
    Senior Member DougPaul's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Remix View Post
    Finally a balanced article that does not blame technology for poor outcomes, but puts the blame on the decisions that people make.
    I think the current furor includes a certain amount of blaming the messenger (ie the phone/PLB/SPOT)...

    Doug

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