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Spot satellite emergency signalling devices have saved 3000 lives to date – but are they an essential piece of kit for the outward bound, or a darned nuisance that is unleashing a bunch of idiots into the most unspoiled and peaceful places on the planet, especially in Canada.

The company that makes them proudly announces that SPOT products have been used to initiate 3,000 rescues around the world since the technology’s launch in 2007. “With over 200,000 units in service, SPOT is now averaging a rescue a day; approximately one-third (829) of all worldwide rescues to date have taken place in Canada,” the company announced.

SPOT says it delivers affordable and reliable satellite-based connectivity and real-time GPS tracking, completely independent of cellular coverage. But its prices are absurdly high.

So actually the question is not whether it is unleashing a bunch of idiots into the most unspoiled and peaceful places on the planet. The question is whether it is unleashing a bunch of RICH idiots into the most unspoiled etc etc

“Lifesaving rescues around the globe are now a daily occurrence for our SPOT products. SPOT is an absolute must for the outdoor recreation market and aviation, as well as an essential government and enterprise solution,” said Jay Monroe, CEO and Chairman of the company that owns SPOT. “With 3,000 confirmed rescues, saving lives continuously drives us to innovate, creating affordable satellite communications solutions that reach a market well beyond traditional mobile satellite users, including millions of people globally. We would like to thank GEOS and the search and rescue teams across the world that put it on the line every day.”

Emergency Preparedness Week in Canada

The first week of May is the time of year when Canadians recognize Emergency Preparedness Week and many start making summer holiday and travel plans:

“SPOT can be an important part of trip planning and emergency preparedness for anyone considering outdoor adventures that take them off-the-beaten track or in the back country,” said David Taylor, a volunteer member of the Civil Air Search and Rescue Association (CASARA). “SPOT can tell others where you are with GPS accuracy even if you don’t know where you are. And, with tracking mode enabled and a good contingency plan in place, your GPS coordinates are plotted at pre-set intervals on a map so that even if you are unable to initiate a call for help, your last reported coordinates can be used as a starting point which can significantly reduce search times.”

SPOT products offer users peace of mind by allowing them to track their assets, utilize location-based messaging and emergency notification technology and to make calls beyond the boundaries of cellular. SPOT products work around the world, including virtually all of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, portions of South America, Northern Africa, North-Eastern Asia and thousands of miles offshore of these areas. Over the past seven years, boaters, hunters, recreational pilots, hikers, snowmobilers, fishermen, campers and off-road travelers and outdoor enthusiasts have come to depend on the lifesaving capabilities of SPOT.

Canadian SPOT Rescue Story: Jamie Waine

One of Canada’s most recent SPOT rescues occurred this spring in Kananaskis, Alberta. College student Jamie Waine was on an adventure trek to Bull Creek Hill with friends. Having reached the top of the lookout, Jamie slipped on some rocks and broke her ankle. Outside of cell coverage range and with evening approaching, the group used a SPOT Gen3 to send an S.O.S. message to GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (GEOS) that included Jamie’s GPS location coordinates. Rescue personnel were dispatched to the scene.

“The fact that SPOT was able to provide our exact location cut the rescue time by several hours,” says Jamie, who is now recovering from a surgery to reconstruct her ankle. “You never know when you are going to need SPOT, and on this recent hike, I’m so glad that we had it when I was too injured to walk.”

SPOT continues to innovate with products and services that deliver peace of mind, reliable connectivity and accurate GPS tracking solutions that are relevant to millions of users around the world, such as: SPOT Gen3(TM) (SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger) is a rugged and affordable GPS tracking device providing off-the-grid messaging, emergency alerts, extended battery life, and extreme GPS tracking at 2 1/2 minute intervals. SPOT Global Phone is the most affordable satellite phone available in retail ($499), allowing users to make calls virtually anywhere beyond the boundaries of cellular. SPOT Trace(TM) is a GPS tracking device which uses 100% satellite technology to track anything, anytime, anywhere. SPOT Trace ensures that users never lose sight of their car, boat, motorcycle, ATV or other valuable gear. The SPOT App is a convenient web-based interface allowing users to easily view their SPOT messages, show their track (location) points, and monitor their assets via smartphone or tablet.

The ability to send S.O.S. notifications to GEOS and emergency dispatch services are included in the SPOT Basic Service plan. Additionally, SPOT offers the GEOS Member Rescue Benefit, for as low as $1.99 a month on an annual basis, which covers additional expenses associated with search and rescue efforts. The GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center is staffed 24/7 with dedicated and highly trained operatives who have access to emergency responders worldwide, to ensure timely and efficient response to each emergency situation.

In Canada, SPOT is available at retailers including MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-op), Sail, London Drugs, Atmosphere, at independent electronics dealers across Canada and online.

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One Response to “Satellite Panic Buttons – Boon or Bane?”

  1. Rod

    Good artical. I will be moving off grid soon, I’m 60 and will be mostly on my own. I will be using chainsaws etc. everyday and if I cut into my leg a good one I will feel much better knowing all I have to do is push a button to get assistance. I don’t agree with the “only the rich can afford it” I’m far from wealthy, but will feel rich living off grid.

    Reply

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