Garmin Just Announced A Milestone of 4000 SOS incidents With inReach

Garmin Just Announced A Milestone of 4000 SOS incidents With inReach

Garmin announced today that its inReach devices have been used to trigger 4,000 SOS incidents around the world since the technology’s launch in 2011.

With hundreds of thousands of inReach devices in service, every day there is at least one inReach-related SOS incident and response somewhere around the globe. In the summer of 2019 alone, inReach devices have helped more than 500 users suffering from a variety of illnesses, injuries and emergencies communicate their need for assistance. Adventurers have been rescued from a wide variety of dangerous situations including raging wildfires, airplane crashes — even a grizzly bear encounter.
— Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Global Consumer Sales

Garmin’s 4000th SOS incident took place in Washington state when Duane Konyn, 45, became ill while competing in an ultrarunning race. Mr. Konyn triggered an SOS with his inReach Mini satellite communicator after dropping to his knees in pain during the fourth day of the Bigfoot 200. A race companion communicated his medical situation via two-way messaging with the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC), which contacted emergency services. Because of the remote mountain terrain, the U.S. Army Air Ambulance Detachment was dispatched, and the rescue crew arrived via Black Hawk helicopter to airlift Mr. Konyn to safety where doctors determined he suffered from a bladder blockage. Mr. Konyn — a husband and father of three — believed that without an inReach he might not have survived the night. Plus, thanks to inReach, he was able to communicate with his wife throughout his 12-hour ordeal.

I was in such a remote location. I knew I needed help, and I was scared because I didn’t know how they were going to get to me, and I wasn’t sure I was going to make it through the night. I recommend the inReach now to everybody because you need to have something to communicate with when you are out in the middle of nowhere.
— Duane Konyn

With an inReach satellite communicator, users facing an emergency situation can trigger an SOS, which notifies the IERCC. Staff at the IERCC are standing by 24/7 to respond to inReach SOS messages by communicating via two-way text with the user in the field to learn about the nature of their emergency, track the device location and coordinate with the proper emergency responders for that unique situation. In addition, the IERCC confirms that help is on the way and continually updates the user on the status of the rescue or necessary assistance. Staff at the IERCC also reaches out to the user’s emergency contacts to keep them updated on the situation and gather additional information.  

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