TerraFix™ PLB Aids in Rescue of Injured Climber - SNEWS

TerraFix™ PLB Aids in Rescue of Injured Climber

A Personal Locator Beacon aided search and rescue teams in the rescue of a novice woman climber injured June 3rd in a fall near Cedar City, Utah. PLBs to date have assisted in 25 rescues in 2006.

Cedar City, UT – A Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) has again played a significant role in the location and rescue of an outdoors enthusiast—this time a novice woman climber near the Brian Head ski-resort in Southern Utah.

The rescued party was a 47-year-old New Jersey woman, who fell and sustained serious head injuries while hiking and climbing with her family on June 3rd. Her brother, an experienced climber and a local physician from St. George, Utah, was carrying a TerraFixâ„¢406 GPS Personal Locator Beacon, which, when activated, put into motion a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation that eventually led to her being evacuated by helicopter.

Michelle Kline and her husband, Steve Bartolett, 49, were tethered together while alpine climbing about two miles from Brian Head. Bartolett lost his footing, fell and slid down a steep slope. Kline could not hold the weight of her dangling husband and she was pulled over a cliff edge 50 feet onto rocks below and out on a steep snow slope. Bartolett was bruised and sore but otherwise all right after the rope between them broke.

Fortunately, the couple was accompanied by Kline's brother, Dr. Michael Kline, a highly-experienced outdoorsman, and his eight-year-old son, Austin. Dr. Kline, an internist specializing in pulmonary disease, rapidly climbed down to stabilize his sister, who had struck her head. Upon reaching her, he determined that her situation was grave and imminent, and that assistance was needed. He directed his brother-in-law to activate the TerraFixâ„¢ emergency locator beacon while he hiked out to summon help.

While the satellite call for help was acquired and processed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Dr. Kline located two forest rangers, who called 911 on their cell phone. The police, who received notification and GPS coordinates courtesy of the Satellite Aided Tracking (SARSAT) System Rescues-One monitored by NOAA, dispatched the Iron County Search and Rescue (SAR) team to respond.

Charlie Morris, SAR Commander for Iron County, said because of the very steep (elevation 11,307 feet) and difficult location where Kline was lying, it took roughly two-and-one-half hours for the SAR/EMS crews to physically reach her, then another three hours for a helicopter to be located and properly outfitted to airlift her to a local hospital. (Due to the severity of her injuries, she was transferred to a trauma hospital in Las Vegas.) She suffered multiple skull fractures and a broken vertebra in her neck.

Dr. Kline purchased the TerraFix™ two years ago because he often hikes or climbs alone. Even though he never thought he would have to use the emergency locator beacon, he always packed it in his backpack where “it lives” alongside his first aid kit. He's pleased that he had the beacon on this trip. “It worked out great. Search and rescue said it made a big difference in their response coordination. They said it got them going earlier even before we placed the 911 call.”

As for his sister, Dr. Kline had her out walking on a local trail a week later.

PLB rescues on land have only become available since a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) waiver ruling went into effect July 2003 approving the sale and use of PLBs for land use in the United States. Having critical knowledge of the climbers' location minimized the expense of operating the helicopter and the efforts of the SAR crews. The beacons must be registered with NOAA and they must be used responsibly.

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.
- 30 -


SPOT Rescue Alert: Injured Hiker Rescued From Canadian Rockies

MILPITAS, CA (September 24, 2008) – SPOT Rescue Alert (SRA): On August 22, 2008 experienced hiker and Canadian oil analyst Michael Ervin, set off to enjoy a backcountry wilderness trip to the base of Mount Assiniboine, one of the highest and most distinctive peaks in the ...read more

More Rescues Credited to the Use of Satellite Detectable Locater Beacons

FORT LAUDERDALE-FL — During a three-day span last month, two separate outdoors enthusiasts ran into life-threatening situations in the wilderness and used Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) in order to survive.Even though the circumstances of each rescue were different, one ...read more

RECCO Launches R9 Advanced Rescue System with Dual Function Detection

WHISTLER, B.C. (November 10, 2008). RECCO, the world's only manufacturer of a unique passive avalanche rescue system for the past 25 years, now introduces the R9. This detector is one-fourth the size and nearly half the weight of previous models, and for the first time tracks ...read more

Polartec® Donates to Injured Soldiers

Polartec, LLC, the manufacturer of Polartec® performance fabrics, is working with the Blue Star Mothers of America, a non-profit organization of mothers who have or have had children serving in the military, to provide soft blankets to injured soldiers. Polartec® is donating ...read more

Millet partners with the Alpine Rescue Team

Lafayette, CO/ Evergreen, COThe Alpine Rescue Team based in Evergreen, CO has chosen Millet as its outerwear provider for its sixty-five member team. The team took it one step further and fully embroidered the jackets with Alpine's name/ logo's/ rescue insignia. Alpine Rescue ...read more

Emily Harrington shows wounds on her elbow in the hospital after bad fall

Climber Emily Harrington injured after bad fall on El Capitan

During an attempt to free climb the Golden Gate Route on Sunday, professional climber Emily Harrington took a 40-foot fall down El Capitan.  Harrington said in an Instagram post that she pin-balled down the rock and then hit the rope with her neck. She is "banged up, but gonna ...read more

Garmont announces its partnership with the Mountain Rescue Association

Garmont (www.garmontusa.com), the recognized and award-winning innovators of backcountry ski and mountaineering boot design is the Gold Sponsor of the Mountain Rescue Association (MRA) a non-profit training and education program. As the Gold Sponsor, Garmont plays a vital role ...read more

Schoolteacher Mike Haugen Summits Everest and Participates in Rescue

Coleman Celebrates by Sponsoring ‘Peak Experience' at New York's Rubin Museum of Art Denver schoolteacher Mike Haugen, 30, successfully summited Mount Everest in the early morning (Nepal time) on Monday, May 21, 2007, as an estimated 7,000 schoolchildren followed along as part ...read more

Mountain Khakis® Aids Alabama Tornado Victims

(Jackson Hole, WY – May 16, 2011) Mountain Khakis®, a leading mountain-inspired lifestyle apparel brand, is joining efforts with grassroots organization, Alabama Forever, to provide aid to Alabama residents stricken by tornadoes. Alabama resident Alex Sokol has found his ...read more