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View Full Version : Who ya gonna call?


Stana Claus
09-21-2010, 09:14 PM
Let's just say, hypothetically speaking of course, that a person was going to make a trip into the park for a day of solo fly fishing. Being a cautious and considerate sort, he lets the homefolks know where he's going, which stream(s) he will be on, and when he expects to be home. Unfortunately, something bad happens and he gets injured or otherwise stranded away from his vehicle and in a spot with no cell phone reception. Since he didn't check in by the designated time, family members prepare to alert the authorities and start the search. But wait! Which authorities should be contacted and at what numbers? Is there an emergency number for the park? Not that I could find on their website. Would you be better served to call the local sheriff's office? Blount County or Sevier County (on the TN side)?

So, if someone goes missing in the park, who do you call to get them found?

Trip
09-21-2010, 10:28 PM
I don't rely on phone calls, I have a personal satellite tracker. Something you may want to invest in.

This may be something LRO may be interested in stocking.

As an avid mountain (on and off road) motocycle rider, I go to all sorts of places that have no cell service. This lets my family know exactly where I am at, where I was, and also gives me access to emergency services if I need them.

It also sends preprogrammed txt messages or emails to who I want to let them know I am alright or if I need help at the push of a button.

It does more, but I haven't figured out all the options yet.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/SPOT+-+SPOT+2+Satellite+GPS+Messenger+-+Silver/9511012.p?skuId=9511012&id=1218116795825

Crockett
09-21-2010, 10:47 PM
I think most incidents in the backcountry will either kill you pretty quickly ie falling and suffering a severe head injury, severed artery, heart attack, bear attack, etc. or you will have an incapacitating but not immediately life threatening injury ie broken leg meaning you have some time. In all those serious accidents even if you can contact a ranger immediately you will NOT be rescued quickly. It will take them a lot of time to get a rescue organized and then work their way through the backcountry to you and then get you out. You are looking at hours in the best case scenario.

Stana Claus
09-22-2010, 08:14 AM
I think most incidents in the backcountry will either kill you pretty quickly ie falling and suffering a severe head injury, severed artery, heart attack, bear attack, etc. or you will have an incapacitating but not immediately life threatening injury ie broken leg meaning you have some time. In all those serious accidents even if you can contact a ranger immediately you will NOT be rescued quickly. It will take them a lot of time to get a rescue organized and then work their way through the backcountry to you and then get you out. You are looking at hours in the best case scenario.

I understand the chance of having a DRT (Dead Right There) type of accident, and also the delay in getting help out to someone, but how exactly should one go about getting the search started, especially after hours. I suppose that during regular business hours someone could call the main ranger station or visitor center number, but the scenario I'm talking about would put the call at 8:00pm or 9:00pm or later. I can't seem to find an emergency contact number for the park to give to my family in Roane County to get someone out looking for me several counties away. That's what I'm looking for here - what number should I have my daughter call if she knows where I was going, but I didn't come back when I should have?

Crockett
09-22-2010, 08:22 AM
i gotcha Santa. The emergency number for the park is 865-436-1230. I would have her call that first or 911 and they can route you through. I would use those two numbers instead of the the local sheriffs department I think it will get quicker results. Hope that helps sorry to get off track there with the postulating.

Stana Claus
09-22-2010, 08:31 AM
Thanks, Crockett. That's exactly the number I was looking for. You'd think they'd post it somewhere on their website or make it somewhat easier to find. Just curious, but where is it posted or listed?

Crockett
09-22-2010, 08:36 AM
You are right it isn't easy to find on there. Here it is on the hiking safety page: http://www.nps.gov/grsm/planyourvisit/hikingsafety.htm

Stana Claus
09-22-2010, 08:51 AM
You know, I had even Googled GSMP emergency phone number and got a link to a page talking about the park's EMT service and there was a number listed for making a donation to their EMT fund, but nothing for an actual emergency. Also nothing other than instructions on how to stay safe or plan for an emergency in the camping or fishing sections. They even say something about knowing exactly where you are when you call for help, but don't list the number to call. It was pretty darned frustrating!

mattblick
09-22-2010, 08:59 AM
You can rent those Spot personal satellite devices here:
http://www.lowergear.com/product.php/id/261

But if you go solo often, buying one is less than 4 rentals.

If you are counting on your phone - Verizon has towers at Gatlinburg, Pitman Center, and Bryson City; AT&T's are considerably further. I would buy a $15 - $20 prepaid with Verizon if you are on another carrier.

cardfly
09-22-2010, 09:30 AM
Has anyone seen or used the Delorme Earthmate PN60 with Spot?

http://www.delorme.com/

I have and use the spot but wonder about if this PN 60 would be a good thing.

Santa, that DRT sounds like a BAD thing....

Hoosier
09-22-2010, 09:55 AM
Call the 911 central dispatch for that county you are visiting. They can even call the operator and say they want top be connected to 911 in XYZ county, TN/NC. The NPS is all part of the local 911 network/emergency response. They work very closely with local/county/state police, ema's and rescue personnel. Don't make the emergency plan more complicated with a bunch of numbers leaving the caller trying to figure out which to call. 911 central dispatch has all the necessary contacts. That should be the first and most important call. If they then want to follow up with other numbers then fine, do so after 911.

Crockett
09-22-2010, 09:55 AM
I agree with Hoosier if you have a cell and it works then call 911 yourself. What I think Santa is planning on doing from readint this post is what I do which is to leave the info on the place he is going with loved ones and let them call if he doesn't return at a certain time or date. I don't think it is a bad idea. In this case if your relative hasn't heard from you at the time you specified they should not panic as it isn't an emergency at that point. They should calmly call and let the park know that you are overdue and they will take it from there.

Trip
09-22-2010, 10:52 AM
Has anyone seen or used the Delorme Earthmate PN60 with Spot?

http://www.delorme.com/

I have and use the spot but wonder about if this PN 60 would be a good thing.

Santa, that DRT sounds like a BAD thing....

Hadn't seen that before, looks pretty cool.

ifish4wildtrout
09-22-2010, 04:52 PM
I don't know if this is the best thing or not, but this I what I do.

I leave my wife a very detailed note about where I am going. The stream, the trail, and where I will be parked.

An approximate time she can expect an "I'm okay" phone call.

The number to local Sheriff's Dept. and the number to appropriate ranger station, GSMNP, National Forest, etc.

If it's a sketchy area I am fishing, I will also tell her to call Transylwader or Oldman and read them the note because they will know exactly where I am. They could assist the authorities in identifying my likely location if needed, much more than my wife can.

Crockett
09-22-2010, 04:59 PM
Who is Transylwader? Just kidding ifish4 I read the other forum too. Liked the pics when you guys went to the gold mine creek.

ifish4wildtrout
09-22-2010, 05:10 PM
Thanks, man. We had a blast on that trip.

The Goldmine is a prime example of a place that's not wise to go alone. If I did, that's why I would have her call him. He can tell the rangers exactly where I am, even give them GPS coordinates of my likely starting/stopping point.

Crockett
09-22-2010, 05:16 PM
I think Santa is on that forum too maybe cause I saw a similar thread over there to this one. If anyone doesn't know what forum we are talking about it is southeastern fly fishing forum you can find it through google. Hopefully Byron won't get mad from me mentioning it cause I see links back from there to here sometimes. From reading both forums it seems like this one is frequented more by the TN folks and that one to the NC folks. I like reading about all the blue ridge parkway area fishing though that intrigues me.

duckypaddler
09-22-2010, 09:58 PM
I don't know if this is the best thing or not, but this I what I do.

I leave my wife a very detailed note about where I am going. The stream, the trail, and where I will be parked.

An approximate time she can expect an "I'm okay" phone call.

The number to local Sheriff's Dept. and the number to appropriate ranger station, GSMNP, National Forest, etc.

If it's a sketchy area I am fishing, I will also tell her to call Transylwader or Oldman and read them the note because they will know exactly where I am. They could assist the authorities in identifying my likely location if needed, much more than my wife can.

While I don't know Transylwader or Oldman, I do tell my wife to call a fishing or kayaking buddy with about the same info. I think calling 911 would be a bit over the top (until it got really late), and I know rescues don't happen much at night in the Smokies. By the other hand, I know my friends will head my way dark or not, and will be more familiar with access points etc. The last thing I would want would be thousands of dollars being spent on a rescue that didn't need to happen. If you have any good friends like ifish4wldtrt and I do, I will be happy to give you, or anyone else that frequents this board my info, and would even go chasing after you if you are on the TN side of the Park.

And when I'm heading to a really sketchy area, I even give one of my "superfriends" a heads up to be on call to come rescue me:smile:

Worrgamesguy
09-23-2010, 03:03 AM
Ghostbusters! Oh wait... :rolleyes:

Stana Claus
09-23-2010, 10:32 AM
All - After spending an uneventful afternoon in the park yesterday, this morning I called the Director of our local 911 call center to ask him how they would prefer that this be handled. He said that you should go ahead and call 911 (which will connect you to your local dispatch center), provide them with as much information as you can (who they're looking for, where they went, what kind of vehicle they were driving, vehicle's tag #, etc.), and they would in turn forward the information to the appropriate agency at the other location. The local authorities would then act as the liaison between the family and the searchers in case additional information is needed.

So there you have it. I guess your local 911 call center is better connected than I was giving them credit for.

duckypaddler
09-23-2010, 01:22 PM
All - After spending an uneventful afternoon in the park yesterday, this morning I called the Director of our local 911 call center to ask him how they would prefer that this be handled. He said that you should go ahead and call 911 (which will connect you to your local dispatch center), provide them with as much information as you can (who they're looking for, where they went, what kind of vehicle they were driving, vehicle's tag #, etc.), and they would in turn forward the information to the appropriate agency at the other location. The local authorities would then act as the liaison between the family and the searchers in case additional information is needed.

So there you have it. I guess your local 911 call center is better connected than I was giving them credit for.

Official isn't always better. Unofficial, your buddies get you that night. Official - Your search gets out at first light. If I hiked in in a day I would think my buddies would chase after me.

Think of all that money and time being spent by multiple agencies:eek:
I know we each have to make our own calls of when to call in the Big Boys - but say you sprained an ancle or even broke a leg. I would rather hobble out 8 hours late (well by that time buddies should be on the way) than to have a huge rescue and be the latest news story:rolleyes:

Just my 2 cents - All if your on the TN side have your wife call me first. I would rather lose a night and have a good story then hear about your big rescue.

Knothead - Did you leave any info when you spent your unexpected night out? Obviously this is an example where a rescue would have been silly, and common sense prevailed in the end.

Just my 2 cents