Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yuppie 911

The ever vigilant Editorial Trophy Wife found this MSNBC and the Associated Press article about a new symptom of the proliferation of cheap personal locators and other gps based alert electronics: Yuppie 911. Basically people who have no business in the outdoors, getting themselves in a tight spot that they never should have been in and then relying on the government to save their sorry hindquarters.

"Technology has made calling for help instantaneous even in the most remote places. Because would-be adventurers can send GPS coordinates to rescuers with the touch of a button, some are exploring terrain they do not have the experience, knowledge or endurance to tackle."

Some of the examples from the article really make you scratch your head in awe and wonderment:

They include hikers who pressed the button when they ran out of water on the trail. They refused rescue because they managed to find a creek but later pressed the button again because the water was salty. The third time they pressed the button during the same trip, the rescuers forced them into the helicopter and then cited the group leader for endangering the rescuers. Another example has a lady pressing the button when she got scared during a thunder storm.

"In the past, people who got in trouble self-rescued; they got on their hands and knees and crawled out," says John Amrhein, the county's emergency coordinator. "We saw the increase in non-emergencies with cell phones: people called saying 'I'm cold and damp. Come get me out.' These take it to another level."

What's next? Feeling tired and have a blister on your next back country hike? Press a button, pop a smoke grenade, and wait for your ride. People, the fine folks at search and rescue are not your personal taxi service. I do not want to think that you are calling them to bring you some Evian while I am in the woods somewhere sawing my leg off with a swiss army knife!

Editor's note: Even though it was cold and windy and there was very obviously an active volcano behind me, I did not press the button on my SPOT Messenger. I was however fully prepared should an emergency arise.

Brigade Quartermasters, Ltd.
Because sometimes fly fishing is tactical

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