Airport West, Victoria, Australia and Booth 52046 at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, Salt Lake City, Utah -- The new personal locator beacon (PLB) company, TracMe, announced today that the company will have a loan pool of Search-and-Rescue (SAR) Field Kits available to agencies for use and return to train them in the new radio-signal personal locator beacon technology. This program, along with nationwide SAR notification, is underway before TracMe PLBs are introduced to U.S. consumers this summer via outdoor retailers. SAR agency representatives can register for the free use, shipping and return shipping of the small suitcase-sized kits by logging onto TracMe's website, www.TracMe.com/SAR/FieldKitReg . Registration will include feedback and a security deposit for the equipment which is valued at more than USD $795.00. TracMe is loaning the SAR Field Kits as a public service for a 3-week training period to enable many agencies to participate.
mission in developing TracMe and sharing the training technology is to
increase the safety of SAR staff and volunteers as they conduct a
rescue as well as the time and resources they spend in their
preparation and rescue operations," said Joe Rainczuk, president of
TracMe. "We are embarking on this registration process to introduce a
non-satellite-based technology to the people who will respond to
emergency calls. We also want their expert feedback about its use."
Notifying nearly 4,000 SAR professionals, agencies and volunteer groups
the TracMe PLBs are launched at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market
August 7 to 12 in Salt Lake City, Utah, TracMe has methodically
notified SAR agencies, teams and volunteer groups throughout the United
That outreach has included an in-depth approach using
the SAR Field Kits. Throughout the summer, the TracMe team has
conducted a number of workshops at SAR industry conferences and state
agency meetings in addition to notifying agencies about the new PLB and
free training materials online. Tilo Schmidt, TracMe's Chief Technical
Officer, conducted a workshop at the National Association of Search and
Rescue professionals (NASAR) annual conference in Charlotte, N.C., May
31 to introduce the SAR Field Kit there with a number radio
The TracMe team will also
demonstrate the beacon at the open-air demo August 7 and 8 at Pineview
Reservoir near Ogden, Utah with the assistance of a member of the Weber
County search and rescue team.
"We will not only present how to
use a TracMe but how to train professional and volunteer rescue teams
using the available Field Testing Kits," explains Schmidt. Schmidt also
demonstrated how TracMe PLBs are compatible with the Ch1 radio signal
in the nearly 100 million trail radios now commonly used throughout the
United States along with land and air-based search methods.
North America's General Manager Brent Turner and Gloucester,
Mass.-based Briggs Longbothum, a national radio direction-finding
expert, recently conducted workshops at the Mountain Rescue
Association's annual meeting June 24 in Utah in June and for the
California State Office of Emergency Services quarterly meeting in July
18. They will be presenting workshops throughout 2007 and 2008.
Workshops can be requested by contacting Turner via email or phone:
TracMe's search and rescue
workshop and training materials are available free of charge by logging
onto www.TracMe.com/SARMethods.htm toward the bottom of the web page.
Field Kit Loan Program creates demand for purchase
"One of the unexpected results of the SAR Field Kit loan program has been the demand for purchase of these kits,"
Schmidt. "Personal locator beacons are our primary business focus, but
due to the overwhelming demand, we are supporting the SAR community by
stocking and supplying the Field Kits. The SAR Field kit is a
professional out-of-the box solution to a SAR organization's
direction-finding needs when locating a TracMe beacon."
SAR Field Kits can be purchased by contacting North America General
TracMe PLB is unique in its use of the Ch1 frequency of trail radios
commonly used throughout the U.S and Canada. The beacon is more
affordable since it does not use a satellite signal when activated. The
search-and-rescue community has been concerned about the potential
increase in the use of satellite-based personal locator beacons by the
general public due to the potential for accidental notification and the
significant cost borne to the agencies responding to accidental calls.
The TracMe PLB is designed for one-time use to discourage accidental
activation or purposeful abuse. This also ensures that during its
10-year useable life, the TracMe is not taken outdoors with a partially
discharged battery and is therefore always ready when needed after
A mission to develop affordable and accessible SAR technology; easy for children to use
was developed in Australia by two paraglider pilots, Joe Rainczuk, a
businessman from Melbourne, and Tilo Schmidt, an electronics engineer,
developer and co-founder of TracMe, in 2001. They witnessed several
tragic events with lost children, lost snowboarders (within voice range
of a resort), and a downed paraglider pilot whose whereabouts where
misdirected by a saboteur during a search and rescue effort. The tragic
death of that paraglider pilot after a fruitless 7-day search in the
Australian Outback prompted Rainczuk and Schmidt to develop the
original TracMe PLB concept.
"We are keen on saving expensive
search and rescue resources and to make beacon technology accessible to
a wider range of outdoor enthusiasts. The current range of
satellite-based PLBs are not appropriate for a large portion of the
outdoor market because of their price, size, and weight. And most
important, there are serious consequences associated with accidental
activation (in some cases, a large fine or even jail). Consequently
most people use no PLB at all," said Schmidt.
The TracMe System
enables a significant number of outdoor enthusiasts to afford and
easily use a simple and effective solution to facilitate fast, safe and
efficient rescues when they need it most. TracMe's design is so simple
a child can use it and avoid a not-uncommon situation of becoming lost
during a group activity with days out in the elements risking
hypothermia. Retailers can offer group rentals of TracMe PLBs to
further accessible affordable PLBs and increase safety.
witnessing tragic situations where this technology could have saved a
life, we have seen demonstrated benefits of PLBs in rescue efforts
recently on Mt. Hood and are convinced that TracMe can offer a win/win
situation for all," Schmidt said.
About TracMe Personal Locator Beacons Pty Ltd
Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) is an international organization based
in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and Seattle, Washington, USA
dedicated to applying technological advances to finding lost
adventurers faster. TracMe's first product uses a simple and well-known
technology which uses the same Channel 1 signal as nearly 100 million
trail radios currently used in the United States. It is affordable,
light and easy to use. TracMe's Channel 1 FRS/GMRS radio signal works
with land and airplane search techniques. TracMe evolved from an idea
in 1992 to create a small, simple, affordable and effective radio
locator beacon that could be used by anyone while engaged in outdoor
activities, including situations where the conventional satellite-based
PLBs are not appropriate for general use.
To activate a
TracMe, you simply pull the top and bottom of the beacon apart. When
activated, the TracMe PLB sends the voice message "Help...Emergency"
continuously every 15 seconds for up to 7 days. TracMe PLBs are
designed for one-time use but not abuse. They are the most affordable,
longest lasting and lightest weight beacon available in a non-satellite
beacon category: only 1.6 ounces, 3.2-inches long at $150 MSRP, they
are smaller than an energy bar. When activated for legitimate search
and rescue, an expended TracMe PLB will be replaced free of charge.
Designed with an enclosed built-in lithium battery to last 10 years in
backcountry and waterway adventure conditions, TracMe PLBs are the 11th
essential for responsible outdoor adventurers anywhere. For more
information, visit www.TracMe.com.
TracMe PLB offers cost-free loan of SAR Field KitsThursday, 09 August 2007
The new personal locator beacon (PLB) company, TracMe, announced today that the company will have a loan pool of Search-and-Rescue (SAR) Field Kits available to agencies for use and return to train them in the new radio-signal personal locator beacon technology.
David Johnston has been introducing people to the sport of sea kayaking for the past 15 years. He is a senior instructor trainer with Paddle Canada and teaches for several paddling schools in Ontario, Canada. Full Bio.