Re: Backcountry Emergency: Evaluation
Don E. Robinson, M.D. (WA4YYM@AOL.COM)
Wed, 7 Jun 1995 01:47:43 -0400
Sorry for this second posting by me on the same subject, but I wanted to
remind the group that the next best thing to having a trained person on the
scene of an accident or illness in the backcountry is being able to
communicate with someone who can give you advice about it.
I carry a small two meter handheld amateur (ham) radio with me wherever
our troop goes. In most instances I can reach a repeater which will relay me
to a station in a place that has a telephone. In some cases, a direct phone
access is possible from my handheld unit (autopatch). NO-CODE amateur radio
licenses are now available. The test is given by a volunteer examiner and
requires only a few hours of study from a guidebook from which the questions
are taken. It is EASY for anyone of average intelligence to pass. Several of
our boys passed the test at the '93 Jamboree after 4 evenings of study and
lectures at the radio area of the Meritbadge midway.
Another alternative is to carry a cellular phone. The small "flip-phones"
are lightweight, and with the ever-increasing coverage of cell areas, 911 is
as close as your backpack. We took one with us last year to Philmont, and
fortunately never needed it for an emergency. But if we had needed it, we
could have saved precious time by not having to send a messenger on foot.
I do not consider these electronic devices intrusive into my wilderness
experience. On the contrary, my experience is made more comfortable and
enjoyable by knowing that I am truly "prepared".
Don E. Robinson
ASM Troop 10
Cherokee Area Council (TN-GA)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City