2008 Avalanche News
Snowmobilers Aid Avalanche Victims with SPOT Satellite Messenger
MILPITAS, Calif., Jan 15, 2008 (PrimeNewswire via COMTEX) -- When Natalie Bertsch bought her husband a GPS-enabled SPOT(tm) Satellite Messenger for Christmas, little did she know that only a week later he would use SPOT while coming to the aid of four friends swept away in an avalanche near Laramie, Wyoming. On Jan. 2, 2008, Brian Bertsch contacted an emergency 9-1-1 call center by pressing a single button on his handheld SPOT.
A group of snowmobilers were riding when they heard an avalanche nearby in the area where four of their friends were riding in the Snowy Mountain Range. Upon arriving on the scene, Bertsch sent his GPS location and distress message by pressing a single 9-1-1 button, and immediately started helping to dig his friends out of the snow. They were able to free three before rescuers arrived. One man, reportedly in his forties, was also buried but did not survive the accident.
"I received an OK message from Brian's SPOT telling me that he was safe. In fact, I was viewing his location through Google Maps online at findmespot.com when I was called by the Emergency Response Center used by SPOT. They contacted me instantly and notified the local area emergency responders within minutes," said Natalie Bertsch. "SPOT's quick response was critical in the rescue communication. I can rest easily knowing that Brian will have SPOT with him every time he snowmobiles because of the safety capabilities and peace of mind it gives me."
The National Association of Search and Rescue estimates that there are over 50,000 search and rescue missions launched each year in the United States. Most of these are initiated without knowledge of the victims' location. While the popularity of GPS navigation systems and the increased coverage of wireless phone networks give some people a sense of security, anyone who routinely ventures into the wilderness knows how unreliable phone service can be in remote areas. The SPOT Satellite Messenger significantly raises the safety factor for the hundreds of millions of people around the world who take to the outdoors each year.
About SPOT Inc.
The SPOT Satellite Messenger, the world's first satellite messenger, uses both the GPS satellite network to determine a customer's location and the SPOT network to transmit that information to friends, family or an emergency service center. SPOT Inc., a subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (Nasdaq:GSAT), provides lifesaving communications technology that allows users to communicate from remote locations around the globe. Thanks to this affordable, cutting-edge personal safety device, the company offers people peace of mind by allowing customers to notify friends and family of their location and status, and to send for emergency assistance in time of need, completely independent of cellular phone or wireless coverage.
- Contributors can log in for advertising-free pages.