When to Call 911?
Every year Eastside Fire & Rescue performs numerous trail rescues. Often times they are a result of medical emergencies and traumatic injuries that leave hikers unable to hike out on their own. So, when should you call 911? We are here to help both lost and injured hikers. Anytime you are in the backcountry and someone is having a breathing problem or a circulatory issue, such as uncontrolled bleeding, it’s always appropriate to call for help. If you or someone in your party is injured and unable to walk, that’s also a good reason to call for help. Eastside Fire & Rescue encourages those that use the outdoors to always be prepared with the 10 hiking essentials, an emergency kit for your car, and know how to turn on/off your cell phone GPS to assist with CLQ location. Be situationally aware when you are on and off the trail.
What is Caller Location Query (CLQ)?
When a call is made on a mobile device a 911 dispatcher might only get the location of the nearest cell phone tower, which could be a long way from the caller, or worse they may not get any location at all. Often times, hikers aren’t sure of their exact location on the trail or there aren’t any good points of refence for the caller to give the dispatcher. But now using CLQ their exact location can instantly be sent to the dispatcher. With Caller Location Query (CLQ) a 911 dispatcher is able to identify your location, within a ten foot radius, through a text message using the GPS on your cell phone. It is de-signed to locate someone in an area without an address; such as hiking trails, ski areas, lakes, and rivers.
HOW IT WORKS:
• Make sure GPS tracking is turned on• Call 911 and give them your cell phone number• A 911 dispatcher will send you a text message with a link• Open the text and click on the link provided• Click on the “Send GPS to 911” button
• Your location will show on a map at the 911 dispatch center and on your phone
The 10 Hiking Essentials
1. Map and Compass: Carry a map of the area and learn how to use a compass. GPS receivers and cell phones are also good to carry.2. Sun Protection: Bring a hat, lip balm, sunglasses and sunscreen to prevent sun burn.3. Insulation: The amount of extra clothing and insulation you wear depends on the weather. Check reports before you leave.4. Illumination: Always carry a headlamp or flashlight and extra batteries, should you be delayed until after dark.5. First Aid Supplies: Bring first aid supplies.6. Fire: In case you're unexpectedly stranded overnight, have fire building materials packed.7. Multi-tool and Repair Kit: Scissors are a necessity, as well as a Swiss Army knife or Leatherman multi-tool. These tools combined with duct tape and a few safety pins, will patch broken or torn gear.8. Nutrition: Hiking is exercise and you need to fuel your body. Bring healthy snacks with a good balance of carbohydrates, protein and fat if you are hiking more than a few hours.9. Hydration: Bring water with you and drink it liberally. Hydrate before you hit the trails, drinking one quart of water every two hours.10. Emergency Shelter: It is useful to carry an emergency shelter, like a blanket or sleeping bag, for cover if you get cold, wet or need to camp unexpectedly.