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Several years ago we started riding in the Shawnee National Forest and would go all weekend without seeing more than 1 or 2 riders. The area has very limited cell phone coverage and we needed a way to call in help in case of an accident. It is a story we have shared around many a campfire as well as our emergency supply list. This Memorial Day weekend we put our preparedness skills to the test. We were riding with a group of 4 at Shawnee National Forest Lusk side in the wilderness area and Donna's horse slipped and she fell into the creek up under the horse's feet. This area has many large boulders and rocks and she sustained a bad head injury knocking her out cold.
The first thing my husband did was deploy the emergency locator beacon then went for help. He was able to catch up with an older couple who also went back for help. Donna's head injury was bad bleeding profusely and she was out for quite some time then didn't remember where she was or what happened for a long time afterwards. The area is dense forest and we knew it would take time to get help "Hoping" our beacon was as great as we thought it would be. IT WAS!! Our entire contact list was notified and they were able to get with us when we had a blip of service letting us know help was coming and what to do for her in the interim. Professional - Capable - Comforting is what my immediate feelings were. 911 also talked with us stating they were in touch with our beacon but we really worried they did not know our exact location due to the terrain and limited service.
At one point my husband went to a line of sight area and called to be sure. Asking "Do you really have our exact location." Their response was "Are you in a creek bed with the ACR beacon and have this phone about 25 yards away?" YES! The level of comfort and sighs of relief were profound. The extraction took more than 6 hours until we had her on the life flight out and we can't begin to thank you enough. The rescue coordination center on the phone contacted us at least 6 times getting updates and kept us informed. Then actually called after our extraction to have us turn the beacon off! I can not say enough about how adamant I am that the ACR beacon is a must-have if you are going anywhere outside of your home area. I do not leave home without it and that was before I had this life threatening accident. Marion & Mark Miller
Thank you ACR!
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