Originally Posted By: haertig
Why don't these search and rescue teams simply unblock their number so it identifies who they are?

Last time I wanted to change that I had to call and wait on hold to do so. Some SAR organizations might be able to afford dedicated phones, but others might use volunteers who have their personal phones

Originally Posted By: haertig

Cellphones don't work with standard landline caller id, but the providers (AT&T, Verizon, etc.) can send an ID if they want to. You think they'd be agreeable to do that for the limited number of rescue agencies, police agencies and other emergency responders who might care to ask. Businesses can pay to have their id sent out on cellular calls, so you know the providers have the capability.

Actually they do, that's why the cell providers have the option to make the cell number show blocked/private. Verizon defaulted to blocked and SIL moved and her signed up for a privacy service on her new land line and it wouldn't let my wife's blocked Verizon cell number through, we had to call Verizon to unblock it so it would show on SIL's called ID and then get through.

Originally Posted By: haertig

Also, search and rescue teams could publish the phone numbers they might call from to local area residents (or post them at trailheads) so people could enter them as a contact in their cellphones so that the name would show up on incoming calls. Even a simple coutry-wide online database of search team names, phone number and area(s) covered would work. Get the word out and people could look up and enter ones relevant to them as phone contacts. What, we only have 50 states (plus a few territories) and how many rescue teams could a state have? A dozen per state would seem on the high end. That's a very small database. You could even do it with a flat text file sorted by area covered (state, then quadrant of the state).

A lot of work. Our county has a reverse 911 service. You have to sign up for it and its an robocall for major alerts. I'd suggest maybe something like that. SAR could notify 911/police and they could attempt reaching out to a missing person and the caller id would show as 911 or the local police number.

However caller ID can be easily faked so I don't know if I'd pickup a call that said 'police' or 'SAR' after having received calls from the IRS telling me I needed to give a credit card to pay taxes and such like that.

Unfortunately its signal to noise ratio. I get less than 10 legit phone calls in a year and get 10 junk/spam calls a week s I've gotten to the point that I won't answer either because its just a waste of time.

SAR could have authorities issue an amber alert "Guest of Hotel 6 reported missing, please call ###-####" so he could think "hey, that's where I'm staying"

Too many missing pieces from the article, for example:
“If you’re overdue according to your itinerary, and you start getting repeated calls from an unknown number, please answer the phone; it may be a search and rescue team trying to confirm you’re safe!”

Did the hiker have an itinerary, did he tell anyone he was going hiking? If he didn't leave any itinerary or tell anyone he was hiking then he wouldn't expecting any calls.

Though someone reported him missing, was he staying with a friend, or a hotel? Did the friend/hotel call (i.e. recognizable number).

Says they sent texts too, what did the text say, seems like there would be something recognizable at a glance there. Unless he had his phone turned off and in a backpack or something.

If he knew he lost his way and was trying to find the correct trail he could have made a facebook/twitter/instagram post "Ha Ha I think I'm lost" or something.