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.
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.
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.
To learn more, visit www.garmin.com/inreach.