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 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 31
Author
Looking for Advice on Rescue Communication
jgoding
26/08/2012
6:49:30 PM
Howdy,

I'm considering investing in some communication gear and looking for some advice (from someone who actually knows a thing or two about the subject - if you don't please don't offer a misguided, unhelpful opinion here).

I am looking for advice ideally from someone in emergency services (Paramedic) or first responder who has had experience in communicating with injured people in remote areas.

Use: Both within Australia (mainly Grampians, but many other remote areas without regular phone coverage - i.e. Tassie, Blue Mtns) but also overseas to assist in the unlikely event of a rock climbing or bush walking accident needing emergency assistance (i.e. helicopter rescue or stretcher evac).

Main options I am considering include:
1) SAT Phone
2) UHF Radio
3) EPIRB (new style with GPS so more accurate location).

Any words of wisdom? Links to useful forums? People I could talk to?

Thanks in advance,

Joe
citationx
26/08/2012
7:08:32 PM
On 26/08/2012 jgoding wrote:
>(from someone who actually knows a thing or two about the subject
>- if you don't please don't offer a misguided, unhelpful opinion here).

It's obvious to see that you've not been on this forum in a while, joe :-)
hairy1
26/08/2012
7:19:31 PM
We've used the 'spot' epirb device in remote areas of north Queensland while paddling~ it allows you to send a pre programmed text or distress signal, handy if you want to let people know you're ok if you don't return by a certain time etc.

IdratherbeclimbingM9
26/08/2012
7:52:33 PM
On 26/08/2012 hairy1 wrote:
>We've used the 'spot' epirb device in remote areas of north Queensland
>while paddling~ it allows you to send a pre programmed text or distress
>signal, handy if you want to let people know you're ok if you don't return
>by a certain time etc.

If one opts for the 'spot', then I advise them to do their homework carefully.
~> I used to work for a govt dpt where use of same was mandatory, and a 'collective' experience came to the conclusion that it was not always reliable,... ie even if update location was registered, it did not always get through to the intended destination receiver, possibly due to interference like tree cover etc?

Another thing to consider about it, is that (depending upon the service opted for), if one fails to 'register in as all-OK', then a process is started whereby a full rescue is enacted (read police / choppers / whatever), and if the omission was a simple 'I forgot to update' / the update message did not get through(!), then the user/group is responsible for the callout costs incurred by the various authorities!
Paul
26/08/2012
9:14:04 PM
Sat phones, there are a few networks to choose from. I have had a number of times when sat phones have not worked or consistently dropped out while in valleys.

UHF, don't bother, good for car convoys and close proximity communication, a few km depending on terain. I have used these in search and rescue application and we almost always seem to need someone to act as a radio relay even when there are repeters in place.

Spot me or epirb would be the go, they both have their own pros and cons. Spot has the ability to send an I am ok message which would be usefull if traveling in remote areas.
kieranl
27/08/2012
9:13:05 AM
If your requirement is simply to raise the alarm then probably epirb/Spot me style is best. Sat phone is good because you can actually communicate your situation but, as Paul said, there are places where they don't work so well.
Sat phones are also expensive but the second post from Richard Delaney in this thread
http://www.chockstone.org/Forum/Forum.asp?Action=Display&ForumID=6&MessageID=13078&Replies=1 might be useful.

tnd
27/08/2012
10:53:42 AM
I'd also recommend a SPOT device (http://au.findmespot.com/en/). Don't know what M9 is talking about in saying that not checking in as "Ok" will launch a search and rescue. The only way to do that with the standard account is to press the "911" button. The "Ok" and "Help" (the latter being to a pre-programmed group of contacts, not the emergency services) are very useful.

Being a GPS device it is subject to the same limitations as any device that communicates via satellite i.e. if you're in a cave or at the bottom of a gorge, or even under heavy tree cover, it may not work.

rodw
27/08/2012
11:48:04 AM
Im surprised how well spot actually tracks...I leave it in the bottom of my climbing pack and it tracks all day in intervals of around 30mins..even in the boot of the car on the way home.
widewetandslippery
27/08/2012
1:12:10 PM
I have a mate who has a spot and his wife can track how long we are at the pub.

ajfclark
Online Now
27/08/2012
1:19:03 PM
Sounds like he needs to attach it to dog or a bribed child or something...

IdratherbeclimbingM9
27/08/2012
9:08:04 PM
On 27/08/2012 tnd wrote:
>I'd also recommend a SPOT device (http://au.findmespot.com/en/). Don't
>know what M9 is talking about in saying that not checking in as "Ok" will
>launch a search and rescue. The only way to do that with the standard account
>is to press the "911" button. The "Ok" and "Help" (the latter being to
>a pre-programmed group of contacts, not the emergency services) are very
>useful.
>
I wrote;
>Another thing to consider about it, is that (depending upon the service opted for), if one fails to 'register in as all-OK', then a process is started (snip)

You are probably right! ... It might simply be that the mob I worked for was paranoid about oh&s and had onerous in house rules and regs as well as super-conservative agreements with service providers for all things safety.
If my 'mngr' did not hear from staff in the field by whatever means at designated times, then a whole (imo over the top), scenario was put in motion!
Richard Delaney
28/08/2012
2:21:06 PM
My business has both an Iridium satphone and a Spot2.
I use hem both differently.

For single person field surveys I send out the SPOT with the 10minute positional updates - that way I can find them even if they are not capable of calling for help. I am also careful about how the buttons are programmed - something like:
OK - everything is OK regardless of any previous messages
Help - Please come to me but please don't call 000
Custom - I'm OK but running late - please add 24hrs to my expected return time
The SPOT has been great. It has confirmation lights on it that tell you if a reliable GPS fix has been obtained AND if the message has been successfully sent out.

Note: SPOT uses the standard NAVSTAR GPS constellation to determine position so it needs a reasonable sky view. It uses the Voda/Globalstar constellation for messages - there have been significant problems with these satellites for voice calls but the data channel is fine.
ALSO - leave the unit on for at least 10 minutes after sending any message.

FINALLY - one significant difference between PLB and SPOT - SPOT does not function as a close range radio location beacon, PLB does - this is used for the last part of the search by helos.

As stated by previous posters, UHF is next to useless for anything other than line of sight comms with other users on predetermined channels with predetermined sched times.

Richard

miguel75
29/08/2012
2:45:35 PM
Hi Josef,

I sent you a PM about a different item. If you can get back to me asap I'd be very stoked...

Cheers,

Mike
Justcameron
29/08/2012
5:37:59 PM
On remote area trips I carry both a satphone and a PLB. But they are available freely to me through Scouts :)

A Personal Locator Beacon is the new terminology for personal handheld distress radiobeacons. EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Raidio Beacon) are for maritime use.

A satphone is great for communicating with people - eg. call a dr, relay symptoms and what equipment/medication you have to hand, ask what to do. Call a mechanic and describe your car's woes. Call the nearest town and ask for a spare wheel.

A PLB is for when you want emergency assistance. Note that in some of these situations having communication (satphone) available is great also.

UHF radio has limited applications. Can be useful in some areas which have radio repeaters on hilltops. Not a primary emergency communication device in most areas.

PLBs are much better than they used to be, since a couple of years ago the new units are registered, transmitting on the 406mhz frequency and result in much lower false alerts, stronger signal strength, can transmit gps location, etc.

re. Satphone - look up the company who are going to provide the service. I think Iridium and Globalstar are two of them. Look up their coverage and reviews of their service. I think one of them had only partial coverage a couple of years ago.

PLB - no annual registration fee
Satphone - monthly/annual fee
SPOT - small annual fee

Some good reading about PLBs - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distress_radiobeacon

IdratherbeclimbingM9
29/08/2012
5:54:02 PM
As an old fart...

Yeah, yeah, new technology adds a safety net...

~> but what ever happened to commitment?

~> If an individual wants to undertake an adventurous -
... then commitment to it, regardless of consequence, is a part of the 'traditional' package!

If you think you will fail in the endeavour, then why undertake it?
If you think the odds are 50/50 then go for it, but be prepared to suffer the consequence.
If you think you will succeed then go for it.

I am no doubt old fashioned and admire the fortitude of those who went before me,
... however I have learnt along the way that most undertakings of any 'worth' are simply that, due to the commitment involved.

When I die I believe that the memories that will come back first are those that involved commitment.
Richard Delaney
29/08/2012
7:42:14 PM
M9,
As someone who has been out on many searches and body recoveries, for me it is not so much about commitment as about making the job safer for those who may come to help.
It's also about availability and accessibility of appropriate technology. There was a point where adventurers made the decision to start carrying timepieces and compasses...
PLBs can now be borrowed for free from many places so I'm afraid the excuses are running out.
Richard.
Richard Delaney
29/08/2012
8:00:35 PM
On 29/08/2012 Justcameron wrote:

>Satphone - monthly/annual fee

As Kieranl pointed out, I pay no monthly fee for my Iridium sat phone. I just put my Telstra nextg post paid sim enabled for international roaming in and dial away.

I reckon Iridium services are best - most of the Globalstar sats have had significant failure of the voice channel and therefore struggle for service. Thuraya is an alternative but serviced by a geostationary sat at about our 2pm sun position - good for flat ground but not for trips with southerly aspects.

Richard

IdratherbeclimbingM9
29/08/2012
8:14:31 PM
On 29/08/2012 Richard Delaney wrote:
>There was a point where adventurers made the decision to start carrying
>timepieces and compasses...
>PLBs can now be borrowed for free from many places so I'm afraid the excuses
>are running out.

~> and the yardsticks are becoming shorter...
Richard Delaney
29/08/2012
8:22:28 PM
I reckon Andrew McAuley's last trip was one of the most committed trips of the last 100years.
He still took a sat phone and that did not detract one iota from my estimation of his commitment or the length of any yardstick.
R

shortman
Online Now
29/08/2012
8:30:35 PM
On 29/08/2012 Richard Delaney wrote:
>I reckon Andrew McAuley's last trip was one of the most committed trips
>of the last 100years.
>He still took a sat phone and that did not detract one iota from my estimation
>of his commitment or the length of any yardstick.
>R

Perfect example.

U summed it up when u called youself an old fart M9.

Imagination !

 Page 1 of 2. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 31
There are 31 messages in this topic.

 

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