COMMUNICATIONS Should Be Your Number 1 Priority
Last evening a familiar sound filled the air, a helicopter making its way towards the park. This isn’t unusual as we are in a direct line of flight between the Greater Phoenix area and Kingman, AZ / Las Vegas, NV. Medical evacuation helicopters travel this corridor transferring patients to and from along with those they might need to pick up in the surrounding area.
On occasion, one will land here at the RV resort to pickup someone. Sometimes they are residents/guest of the park or trauma patients involved in an accident nearby.
The park as a large flat area perfectly suitable for helicopters to land to pick up patients needing transport to Phoenix that is an hour plus drive away depending on the hospital they need to go to. Helicopters in this case are a must when time is critical.
Last night’s incident involve an elderly man, who was boondocking on BLM land not far from the resort. He and his girlfriend did not to keep their cellphone plan active by paying the monthly bill. By not keeping their coverage plan current they had no way to contact a friend or family. Fortunately, she decided to try calling 911 and it worked. Which is something the cellphone providers must allow even if you don’t have an active plan with them. His girlfriend dialed and reported the problem and 911 dispatch was able to get her phone’s GPS position. First responders were dispatched.
By not having a working cellphone, they could not let others know where they were. Had they not had a cell signal and been able to contact the local 911 call center this could have turned out very differently. Stuff happens, folks run into problems all the time and one doesn’t have to be far away from a road or a town to be all alone, isolated from the world when you need lifesaving help and can’t get it.
Make having a cellphone and basic plan a priority. Yes, you may have to make a hard choice between something else you want, but its crucial to have a reliable means of communication.
You can supplement a cellphone with two way radios such as a GMRS mobile or handheld. Or by purchasing and subscribing to a satellite based communications such as an inReach. Like anything, you also need to invest your time in learning how to use them, so when the need arises, you can do so.
inReach allows you to send text message to anyone to and from anywhere in the world. It also has a means to summon emergency help with the push of a button if you find yourself unable to send a text.