From: Kate Cushing, Vice President
I thought it might be good to remind everyone why it is important the trip leaders provide the Intentions Sheets for their trips. And why, as punters, we need to provide emergency contact info and medical conditions. It’s really not because I want an excuse to send out copious emails!
The Intentions Sheets provide very important information about the skill level and health of the people in the hills, the intended and alternate routes and, very importantly, the PLB the group is carrying.
All of this information will be invaluable to SAR and the police should something happen on your weekend in the hills. In fact, they will want heaps more information but I am resisting making the sheet 6 pages long!
Here’s the basics on how the system works:
- I get a volunteer to be available by mobile phone for a weekend and wait for your trip leader’s call on Sunday night to say your trip had gotten out safely.
- The contact person only has to do something if either they get a call from SAR (which hasn’t ever happened!) or a group is late out.
- WTMC has Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) which, if one is set off, will alert SAR. SAR will call the WTMC mobile phone. The WTMC mobile phone is forwarded to the contact person. Therefore, SAR automatically reaches the person with the Intentions Sheets. SAR determines which PLB has been set off and the contact person shares all of the information on the Intentions Sheet. SAR will then give the contact person advice on next steps and whether to alert family and friends from the information provided in the Intentions Sheet.
See how important the Intentions Sheet is yet?
If a trip is late out the first step is to try to contact the trip leader to make sure they haven’t just forgotten to send the “we’re out” text. The contact person will consider the skill level of the group and the weather conditions and, if they have concerns, they will call Amanda and Sharron to discuss whether any action should be taken. We may also call our SAR contact for advice. Again, the info on the Intentions Sheets is invaluable!
This is a two way system, so if your family or flatmates are concerned that you haven’t arrived home when they expected, they can call the contact person to find out what’s happening. Remember to pass this info on to your contact when your trip leader sends it through.
The next time you are leading a trip, (and I know we all have too many forms in our lives) please take the time to put all the valuable info into the Intensions Sheet. And the next time you are a punter, be sure to provide your emergency contact info to your trip leader and also the club contact person’s info to your family/flatmate. That way we can all be in contact if anything less than idyllic happens out in the hills.
On a happy note, the only action our emergency contact person has had in the last two years was sending a van back to Ngawi to pick up some bedraggled punters after a few navigational mishaps! We still made it to Wellington in time to see the RWC final so, disaster averted!
Have fun in the hills and keep making it easy for our emergency contacts.