Jun 27, 2012, 9:16 AM
Post #3 of 3
From: Tom Materna
Re: [The Publisher] SPOT tracking device
[In reply to]
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Subject: Spot info and tracking
I read the SPOT non-action with great concern and posted it to our rider group that uses them. Roger, who has been doing adventures for years, has this info set up to make SPOT work better which may have helped save a life. It may in the future. This is a reply I got:
This is why I created a website (http://whereamiriding.com/) that monitors every update from every user every 10 minutes. If someone hits their HELP button, I know about it regardless of who it is and if I'm one of their 'lucky 7' on their SPOT details page. If you hit the 911 button, that information gets sent to SPOT and they make the calls to the emergency contact you've setup on your account.
When people register they also have the option of filling out some "Emergency Contact" information so I can get on the phone and call people even if I don't know them. Had this user been registered on my site and hit the HELP button prior to 911, a pair of digital eyes would have known he needed help before a pair of real eyes do...and to me that's better than not having any eyes at all watching over you.
Doesn't it completely suck that if you hit the 911 button, that information doesn't get sent to your SPOT page?? SPOT needs to fix that. The 'HELP' button information does though, so if you need to hit the 911 button, I'd say hit the HELP button first, then the 911 button after that. At least your people get notified, THEN your contact will get a call from the GEOS center. Just a hint if you need it sometime.
All that aside, you're only as safe as the people looking after you while you are on an adventure carry'n your SPOT. When you ride, you need a PLAN. Not just some sweet gps tracks you get from Gil, Crawford, or Counts, you need a safety plan in case you need help. You need to have the details of your trip somewhere that people that can help can access it if needed. If I hit my HELP button on my SPOT, an email gets sent to those in my 'lucky 7' with a link with a username and password so someone can coordinate a rescue. I setup an email distro so that 1 email address will actually forward to about 15 people. When I ride, people know about it, I post on forums, multiple people would know to come looking for me if I didn't show up in the evening or if I hit the help button.
If you have a reason to use a SPOT, you have a reason to alert people what you're doing, where you're doing it, how long it should take, and you need to check in daily and have someone watching you as well. When you fly an airplane you file a flight plan, I still 'file a flight plan' every single time I go riding even if it's local.
This is a very tragic incident I hope I don't ever hear about again, it's just too bad the ball got dropped somewhere and no one followed up on it.
All I really expect out of SPOT is a phone call, after that the person on the other end of the line needs to take action by calling authorities, as I wouldn't trust anyone else to get help on my behalf.
Btw, my site is free, all of the basic functionality is free to anyone that registers including the server monitoring of your ride. All of your are my riding family, and I don't want ANY of you to ever be in a situation where you can't get help if you need it.
D37 - GPS Tech