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#238590 - 01/03/12 11:03 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: bws48]
ILBob Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 02/05/10
Posts: 776
Loc: Northern IL
I once found myself out in the woods in the evening and it got very dark very fast. I was only a few hundred yards from the car but what little light there was dissappeared behind some clouds very quickly.

I had to use the backlight on my cell phone as a flashlight.

Now I have a penlight hooked to my key ring. It stays in my pocket.
_________________________
Warning - I am not an expert on anything having to do with this forum, but that won't stop me from saying what I think. smile

Bob

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#238599 - 01/04/12 01:20 AM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: bacpacjac]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2696
Originally Posted By: bacpacjac

Agreed. DS and DD both had their cell phone GPS fail at the same time during a family trip outside of Ottawa last year. They were on 2 different major carriers, which added to the mystery.


The mobile phone carrier has no bearing on GPS accuracy -- only on whether there's connectivity for map data, if you're using Google Maps or a similar app that needs it.

If you had two GPS devices fail in the same way in the same time and place, it makes me wonder if there wasn't some kind of interference preventing the signals from being received correctly.

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#238632 - 01/04/12 02:55 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: bws48]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
Two rescuers rappel down from the chopper to get him and his dog out.


FYI: The media got this one wrong, they were lowered by hoist.


As things would have it, I was out of town for this event. There was discussion within the team as to the risk/benefit of this operation and I have discussed the operation directly with our Team Leader. We have our monthly drill/meeting this coming Monday and I am sure we will discuss this operation further.

The discussion to lower two rescuers to the lost hiker was made based upon several factors, none in of themselves would normally justify the insertion of the rescuers, but taken together led to the decision. Without going into too much detail, our team trains intensely for these types of events and the insertion itself was typical of our training. The team or member being deployed, the pilot and flight medic run a risk analysis before the hoist deployment and decide if the risk is worth the benefit. As the Frederick County-ATR Team, Assistant Team Leader in charge of MSP-HEAT Team (Maryland State Police-Helicopter Emergency Areal Tactical Team) Operations, I fully support the decision made and based upon the information I was given, I would have made the same decision.

I cannot comment on the preparation or decision making process by the victim, since our team was involved in the operation, it would inappropriate for me to do so.

Pete

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#238636 - 01/04/12 03:30 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: paramedicpete]
chaosmagnet Offline
Sheriff
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/03/09
Posts: 2696
Originally Posted By: paramedicpete
I fully support the decision made and based upon the information I was given, I would have made the same decision.


Based on what I've read, your team performed admirably. Whatever other insights you can share with us would be greatly appreciated.

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#238643 - 01/04/12 05:23 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: chaosmagnet]
hikermor Offline
Geezer in Chief
Geezer

Registered: 08/26/06
Posts: 5796
Loc: southern Cal
It will be refreshing to have some real insight into an operation of this nature. Congratulations to your capable team for a successful performance.
_________________________
Geezer in Chief

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#238648 - 01/04/12 06:11 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: chaosmagnet]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 797
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland
Originally Posted By: chaosmagnet

Based on what I've read, your team performed admirably. Whatever other insights you can share with us would be greatly appreciated.


+1 on your team and any other insights you can share.

Also:
I heard an additional interview with the victim (I can't find a link on the net) where he says that he was trying to follow one of the park's color coded marked trails, but somewhere got off the trail he thought he was following and ended up on another different trail, leading him into getting lost. It sounds like he got distracted for a moment---and that is all it takes.
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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#238653 - 01/04/12 07:26 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: bws48]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
Quote:
I heard an additional interview with the victim (I can't find a link on the net) where he says that he was trying to follow one of the park's color coded marked trails, but somewhere got off the trail he thought he was following and ended up on another different trail, leading him into getting lost.


Some general information on the park:

Gambrill State Park Gambrill State Park is one of our favorite places to hike. About 15-20 minutes from our house, it is one of the few MD state parks where you can take leashed dogs. Dogs are not allowed in “developed” areas of many MD state parks, but generally the trails are okay.

The trails (approx. 16 miles) are marked with colored blazes on the trees and a few markers placed at key intersections. Gambrill is not a large park by some standards, but does blend into the Frederick Municipal Forest (Frederick City Watershed), which extends well into the Catoctin Mountains. Several of the trails are maintained/sponsored by volunteer organizations or local businesses like “The Trail House” in Frederick (one of our favorite stores-just a happy customer).

At one of the key parking lots for the trails there used to be a 3-D model of the trail system giving you an idea of the layouts of the trail and terrain features. They also used to have free trail maps (line drawings) showing the general layout of the trail system. The last time my wife and I hiked there, we noticed both the 3-d model and trail maps were no longer present. They now have a link on the park’s web page to purchase a trail map.

Several of the trails are co-linked leading to different offshoots. So the Black Trail may also be the Green Trail for a portion with both black and green blazes until the trails split. Most of the trails loop, so if you stick to one color and follow it you generally will come to a road or improved area (parking lot) of the park.

Cell phone coverage in the park is usually real good, since there are several cell phone towers on the ridge.

Pete

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#238678 - 01/05/12 02:33 AM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: bws48]
Mark_M Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 11/19/09
Posts: 295
Loc: New Jersey
Yeah, the iPhone fails for foot navigation. Whether I'm in the canyon's of NYC or the dwarf pine forests of the NJ Pinelands, it seems the compass never wants to point in the right direction -- even after waving it in a figure 8 for calibration.

The other problem with an iPhone is short battery life. Out in the field using a map/gps app, my battery will be dead in 4 hours.

I'm glad it worked out for this guy, but personally I'd plan on bringing more reliable gear next time around.
_________________________
2010 Jeep JKU Rubicon | 35" KM2 & 4" Lift | Skids | Winch | Recovery Gear | More ...
'13 Wheeling: 8 Camping: 6 | "The trail was rated 5+ and our rigs were -1" -Evan@LIORClub

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#238717 - 01/05/12 07:02 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: paramedicpete]
paramedicpete Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 04/09/02
Posts: 1920
Loc: Frederick, Maryland
I conferenced with the Team Leader and the other Assistant Team Leader last night to discuss the mission.

Both I and the other Assistant Team Leader were out of town, so we were somewhat handicapped in our ability to address certain specifics of the call. The Team Leader said he did not hear the initial dispatch as it first came out as a service call for a nearby fire company to assist in the search. We will be requesting an audio copy of the call for further review.

While I cannot provide certain details, I do feel that there are some lessons to be learned that hopefully will be of benefit to others. I will pass those items along as appropriate. There were some mistakes made in the overall operation, as there are with many calls and we will attempt to address them (some already have) with the various participating groups. The main issues were the dispatch process, accountability and command and control.

Those familiar with fire department operations will recognize this call as a “build a box” assignment, basically an ever increasing dispatch of resources. The analysis will be ongoing and I will attempt to relay the facts and my interpretation of the operation as I learn certain details.

Pete

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#238740 - 01/05/12 10:13 PM Re: Iphone flashlight rescue [Re: paramedicpete]
bws48 Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/18/07
Posts: 797
Loc: Anne Arundel County, Maryland


It's good to hear that even an "uneventful" and successful operation as this is being reviewed. IMO, such "after action" reviews are what allow us to continually improve training and preparation for the next time.

Regretfully, in many places I've seen such efforts dismissed on the assumption that "we know what we are doing" or something like that, treating it as a waste of time. Again, Congrats to the team and many thanks.

And a rhetorical question to the Park; is it really worth not having trail maps available at the trail head or at least available on their website, apparently so they could sell them? (no answer required). (I checked their web site expecting to at least find an overview map of the trails. Nope.)mad
_________________________
"Better is the enemy of good enough."

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