Delorme’s new system
David Pease The Reds Team
I had the opportunity to attend FDIC this year and was also at the Myrtle Beach Fire Show as well. This gave me the chance to look at more equipment to bring back for evaluation. Several manufacturers have released new equipment or have improved on their existing equipment. TecGen has a technical rescue/wildland PPE that looks pretty awesome, Rescue Jack has come up with a flipjack as well as the new Super X strut system for heavy vehicle rescue, structural collapse and trench rescue. I also looked at a new USAR helmet and hard wire communications system. These are just some of the things I will be looking at this year, so stay tuned.
For the past several years I have looked at Delorme’s mapping software, as well as their GPS systems. They are one of the companies that continue to improve their systems and capabilities. Early last year, I brought to you a new system they introduced that allows you to send a text along with your coordinates. This was utilizing their PN-60 GPS handheld unit. They used a company called SPOT that integrated their satellite system with the Delorme GPS unit. Now, it’s gotten even better.
Delorme has now introduced their “InReach” system that gives the capability to not only send a message or coordinates, but also to receive messages. This system can also be synced with your Apple and Android giving you the capability to send and receive messages even when your smartphone has no service. If you can hit a satellite you can send or receive. More importantly, this system will also sync with your Delorme PN-60 GPS unit.
The InReach system will provide the rescuer with a personal beacon locator that can be used worldwide. This service does require a subscription. The unit will also send an emergency message with your coordinates to search and rescue teams should you be by yourself. This feature does have a locking device that will prevent you accidentally setting it off, but can be deployed with the use of one hand.
You can pre-program up to three preset messages in the unit, so you can quickly send a message to your command post, such as “subject located,” “need assistance,” or “mission complete.” This will make sending quick messages much easier. You have the capability to text via your PN-60 GPS unit up to 160 characters and send them to a cell phone, e-mail, or even Facebook and Twitter. You may also receive messages from other cell phones, e-mail addresses or even another InReach unit. When the message has been sent, an LED light on the unit will indicate the message was successful. When you send a message, it will also include your elevation, heading and speed, along with your coordinates.
The device is made durable and rugged to withstand the outdoors and is rated to the marine radio standards of being submerged up to three feet for up to 30 minutes. This will allow for operations in the rain and inclement weather, which is what we deal with a lot of the times. The unit uses two AA batteries. The lithium batteries are recommended for longer use, but it will use the alkaline as well.
Using the Delorme mapping software along with the PN-60 and InReach system will greatly enhance your search capabilities of being able to communicate your position, your status, and incorporate the actual topographical maps and aerial maps into the PN-60. Once you return to base camp you can download your GPS with the mapping software and see exactly what your searchers were able to cover. This system will help to improve search results and save lives.
Next issue we’ll look at some more products and equipment. Until then, train hard, be safe, and know your equipment.
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