Aron Ralston to Promote PLBs for ACR Electronics

Author of "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" signs on as spokesman for the high-tech TerraFix™ personal locator beacon.
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ARON RALSTON SIGNS ON AS PLB SPOKESMAN FOR ACR ELECTRONICS

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL-- MARCH 20, 2006-- Outdoorsman Aron Ralston, who in 2003 made international news by amputating his own arm to save his life while solo canyoneering in Utah, has agreed to promote satellite-detectable Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) as part of a promotional spokesman agreement with ACR Electronics, Inc (www.acrelectronics.com).

In announcing the agreement today, Paul Hardin, ACR Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, welcomed Ralston stating, "We have found a great spokesperson in Aron Ralston. As an experienced mountaineer and Mountain Rescue member, Aron espouses self-reliance and preparation. The will to survive and the resourcefulness that he demonstrated in Blue John Canyon uniquely qualify him to endorse the TerraFixâ„¢ 406 PLB as an essential piece of equipment for responsible backcountry use. At ACR we believe that a properly registered 406 MHz beacon can reduce risk by providing a reliable, satellite-based emergency signal for those who recreate and work in wild places. It is a vital piece of equipment when preparing for the unplannable and unthinkable."

Ralston, who has become a best-selling author with his remarkable memoir of survival in "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" and frequently tours the country as a motivational speaker, sees his role with ACR as a chance to help others who may find themselves in a dire life-or-death situation.

"While we must individually take full responsibility for our well being in the backcountry, most of us can use all of the help we can get," he said. "Satellite technology isn't infallible, but it is the best technology to rely upon when all other means of self rescue won't work or are ineffective. That's why I recommend the ACR TerraFixâ„¢ 406 PLB. It's lightweight enough to bring along on any length of a trip and can be an invaluable component of a safety preparation plan. Nothing can substitute for skill, will and a little luck now and again, but when you run out of those things it's good to know there's a reliable backup--the ACR TerraFixâ„¢ 406 PLB."

Ralston, himself a member of an all-volunteer search and rescue team, said PLBs will also greatly benefit SAR teams throughout the country by improving SAR efficiency and reducing the cost and risk of rescues. Team members often put their own well-being in jeopardy responding to emergency calls with little or no information as to location of those needing help.

Both of ACR's new TerraFixâ„¢ 406 models -- I and I/O-- will provide users with the ability to broadcast critical GPS coordinates, providing Search and Rescue crews with exact latitude and longitude, thereby increasing emergency response speed by pinpointing positioning within 100 meters (110 yards). The TerraFixâ„¢ 406 GPS I provides an interface cable connection capability to a GPS, while the TerraFixâ„¢ 406 GPS I/O provides an interface cable connection to a GPS plus an internal GPS engine to acquire and transmit coordinates. The TerraFixâ„¢ 406 GPS units transmit a unique digitally coded distress signal on 406 MHz frequency to the orbiting COSPAS-SARSAT satellite systems. The TerraFixâ„¢ 406 also simultaneously transmits a signal on the 121.5 MHz (SAR homing) frequency.

ACR Electronics, Inc, which is celebrating its 50th year as the world leader in the design and manufacture of safety and survival technologies, introduced its first Personal Locator Beacon to U.S. consumers in 2003, following FCC approvals permitting the sale and use of the technology in the continental 48 states. The beacons had been permitted in Alaska-- a test state- for several years prior to the FCC ruling. In 2004, ACR introduced a smaller, lighter and more function-rich PLB with the TerraFixâ„¢ 406 GPS for land use, also the AquaFixâ„¢ P-EPIRB was introduced for marine use and the AeroFixâ„¢ P-ELT was introduced to the aviation market.

More reliable than typical communications devices such as emergency two-way radios, cellular phones or satellite phones, the ACR TerraFixâ„¢ 406 GPS PLB works at-20Ëš C, is waterproof up to 5 meters (16.5 ft) and is powered by a non-hazardous 5-year lithium battery, so it is capable of continual transmission for over 24 hours. Lightweight at just 12 oz. (338 g), the TerraFixâ„¢ 406 measures 1.74 x 5.71 x 3.03 in (4.4 x 14.5 x 7.7 cm).

A PLB/P-EPIRB/P-ELT is a satellite-signaling device of last resort, for use when all other means of self-rescue have been exhausted and where the situation is grave and imminent and the loss of life, limb, eyesight or valuable property will occur without assistance. All beacons must be registered following purchase-- a simple and quick process, now with a web-base internet filing option. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) manages the registration database in the U.S. for all PLBs, EPIRBs and related beacons.

ACR Electronics, Inc., a Cobham plc Company, designs and manufactures a complete line of safety and survival products including EPIRBs, P-ELTs/P-EPIRBs/PLBs, Bridge-based Information Systems, SARTs and safety accessories. The quality systems of this facility have been registered by UL to the ISO 9001:2000 Series Standards. Recognized as the world leader in safety and survival technologies, ACR has provided safety equipment to the aviation and marine industries as well as to the military since 1956.
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