The day I triggered my PLB

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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby peregrinator » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 4:20 pm

Thanks wildwanderer. This is how it is stated at the head of the linked document on registration:

What if I don’t register?

If you are not registered you can’t make and receive calls through the NRS. But you can still make calls to emergency services without being registered.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby crollsurf » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 4:27 pm

I wonder if that shows up automagically on your phone as "emergency calls only" or if you need to setup your smart phone to access the service

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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby crollsurf » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 4:40 pm

Good news: 3 weeks in 2 after op, I'm now off crutches and using a walking stick. It has a walking stick handle and I have it at an upper thigh height so most of the weight is on the pole, not the leg. Plus I can use an exercise bike and rowing machine kind of. YMMV but this has made a big difference.

Bad news: recieved a bill from NSW Ambulance for over $2,800. I dont begrudge even 1 cent but I'm chasing it up because it was ACT Ambulance that rescued me. And they told me it wouldn't cost a cent.

Once I've sorted out the bill I'll give an update because depending on which state you get rescued in, may be a consideration re insurance.

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Last edited by crollsurf on Mon 04 Apr, 2022 7:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Moondog55 » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 4:57 pm

Always had ambulance insurance and I always thought it was reciprocal. I'd better double check to see if I'm covered over the VIC borders.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Warin » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 5:00 pm

crollsurf wrote:Bad news: recieved a bill from NSW Ambulance for over $2,800. I dont begrudge even 1 cent but I'm chasing it up because it was ACT Ambulance that rescued me. And they told me it wouldn't cost a cent.


Private heath cover usually covers ambulance fees. There used to be a policy that just covered ambulance fees. Why? The RFDS 'ambulance' is rather expensive! If you are going 'remote' get coverage!
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby johnw » Mon 04 Apr, 2022 5:14 pm

Warin wrote:
crollsurf wrote:Bad news: recieved a bill from NSW Ambulance for over $2,800. I dont begrudge even 1 cent but I'm chasing it up because it was ACT Ambulance that rescued me. And they told me it wouldn't cost a cent.


Private heath cover usually covers ambulance fees.

Correct. At least mine does, regardless of which state the incident occurs in. Though not all states have identical arrangements for their citizens.
When my son had his canyoning accident, from memory he received a similar bill from NSW Ambulance. He just passed it to his medical fund who paid it.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Xplora » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 6:15 am

Moondog55 wrote:Always had ambulance insurance and I always thought it was reciprocal. I'd better double check to see if I'm covered over the VIC borders.

Ambulance Victoria cover will pay interstate bills. You will get the bill in the mail and you forward it to AV but the callout has to be through 000 and the applicable state Ambulance service must be involved. It is pretty cheap coverage. It will also cover non emergency transport to another hospital if the hospital you are taken to cannot treat you. That may have been the case with Tim Holding (MP) was taken to Bright hospital with a sprained ankle and had to be airlifted to Melbourne.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby myrtlegirl » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 1:39 pm

GBW wrote:
myrtlegirl wrote:I was on a walk where rescue was required. An InReach was set off - BUT IT FAILED (confirmed this with AMSA). The InReach was new. The owner had been using it to track, and when they set it off there was a message saying something like resuming tracking, and the screen was frozen. Owner has been in contact with Garmin.



Do you have any further details on this as to the cause?


I asked the InReach owner about what happened when the screen froze at the time (it had apparently been frozen since the night before), and what Garmin had to say: I think it was because the battery was too low. When it unfroze by holding the on/off switch on for ages it was showing there was still battery but I would dispute that. Also it only did it in Expedition Mode, so I have disabled it. They talked me through switching it off.
They didn't seem to want to replace it or anything just said to disable it. That's when it goes into power save. Once it goes in there I was having trouble getting it back out


For me, unless I am absolutely confident that most, preferably all, of the group know how to use the sat messenger under pressure, I'll always take a PLB as well.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby GBW » Tue 05 Apr, 2022 5:16 pm

myrtlegirl wrote:I asked the InReach owner about what happened when the screen froze at the time (it had apparently been frozen since the night before), and what Garmin had to say: I think it was because the battery was too low. When it unfroze by holding the on/off switch on for ages it was showing there was still battery but I would dispute that. Also it only did it in Expedition Mode, so I have disabled it. They talked me through switching it off.
They didn't seem to want to replace it or anything just said to disable it. That's when it goes into power save. Once it goes in there I was having trouble getting it back out


For me, unless I am absolutely confident that most, preferably all, of the group know how to use the sat messenger under pressure, I'll always take a PLB as well.


Thanks for the explanation myrtlgirl. I just looked up how to do a "soft reset" in the event of a frozen unit. I don't own a garmin unit (I have a Spot which has been reliable so far) but your
experience goes to show that carrying a sat communicator is not enough... you need to know how to use it too!
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby north-north-west » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 4:09 pm

potato wrote:I'm going to say it as I'm sure others are thinking it... you went out alone. This to me put a large reliance on the PLB and the rescue teams to come get you.

20 years ago we managed risk with experience and by walking with others. But now I feel (well I see the tas police heli flying out to the south coast track every other day) people are not assessing the risks properly thanks to PLBs.


The only time I've triggered my PLB was one of the very, very rare occasions I've gone walking with other people. Who woulda thunk it?
In fact, having others around makes an accident more likely for me, because I'm either trying to keep up with faster walkers or nursemaiding numpties and, thus, not paying as much attention to the terrain and vegetation.

You should also check how many of those "South Coast Track every other day" walkers were on their own ...
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Warin » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 5:08 pm

north-north-west wrote:having others around makes an accident more likely for me, because I'm either trying to keep up with faster walkers or nursemaiding numpties and, thus, not paying as much attention to the terrain and vegetation.
and weather - low cloud cover that obscures the pad comes in fast in Tassie.

I agree with NNW ... tend to have less concentration on what I am doing, having to also think about what others are doing.. If I am alone then that is only me to think of and I can set my own pace, rest stops etc.

Reliance on PLBs? I don't think so. Most are reluctant to activate a PLB.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby rcaffin » Fri 08 Apr, 2022 8:38 pm

We (wife & I) carry an old 2.5G/3G mobile phone, with a small antenna sticking out. I can get the Perisher tower from most of KNP with it - well, the high places anyhow. I doubt you can do that with a 4G or (even less so) a 5G phone, as their range is much less. I think (not sure) that the 2.5G range is about 35 km.

Yeah, we do also have a PLB, and sigh, we have taken to carrying it as well.

Hope it heals well.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 12:09 am

rcaffin wrote:We (wife & I) carry an old 2.5G/3G mobile phone, with a small antenna sticking out. I can get the Perisher tower from most of KNP with it - well, the high places anyhow. I doubt you can do that with a 4G or (even less so) a 5G phone, as their range is much less. I think (not sure) that the 2.5G range is about 35 km.

Yeah, we do also have a PLB, and sigh, we have taken to carrying it as well.

Hope it heals well.
Cheers
Roger
Except 2 (and 2.5)G is now phased out and 3G is in the process phasing out (regional Telstra 3G has either been replaced with 4G or will be replaced with 4 or 5G). 3G WCDMA by its nature always had better coverage-edge reach, albeit with less capacity, than 4 (and now 5)G, but will soon be a thing of the past

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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby ribuck » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 2:03 am

GBW wrote:I just looked up how to do a "soft reset" in the event of a frozen unit ... carrying a sat communicator is not enough... you need to know how to use it too!

For what it's worth, emergency instructions (including how to do a soft reset) are printed on the InReach Mini itself.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby north-north-west » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 6:20 am

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:]Except 2 (and 2.5)G is now phased out and 3G is in the process phasing out (regional Telstra 3G has either been replaced with 4G or will be replaced with 4 or 5G). 3G WCDMA by its nature always had better coverage-edge reach, albeit with less capacity, than 4 (and now 5)G, but will soon be a thing of the past


There are plenty of places in Tassie I used to reliably get a signal on my old iPhone 3S. Not any more. May have to update the thing. Grrrr!
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby wildwanderer » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 7:29 am

Yeah my mobile phone gets worse coverage and poorer call quality since I 'upgraded' to 4g/5g.

Seems the telcos put the investment in data speed not robustness of signal. Unless you have no obstruction to the tower the reception is not what it was.

Must be getting old I'm starting to yearn for the 'good old days'..
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 10:08 am

wildwanderer wrote:Seems the telcos put the investment in data speed not robustness of signal. Unless you have no obstruction to the tower the reception is not what it was...
No not really, and in many ways 4 and 5G is more robust (eg. far less susceptible to signal fade/loss in dense/complex topography or built environments). Telcos need to keep up with evolving standards, and in soooo many ways 5G is (or will be when more fully deployed) a far better technology (it's also a great vaccine delivery vector :p). It's just that by nature of the multiple access scheme that the technology uses, 3G in general has/had more "fortuitous" reach beyond the planned coverage area. 4 and 5G use a different multiple access scheme that is far more optimal for most purposes but doesn't necessarily get as much of that extra fortuitous coverage. While that extra coverage obviously benefits our community when plonking around in remote areas, it's not reasonable for telcos to maintain superseded technology for such relatively minor benefits when compared to the far greater and wider reaching (not necessarily geographically haha) benefits of newer standards.



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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby wayno » Sat 09 Apr, 2022 3:42 pm

awesome result. you kept your head..
i've got a PLB and an Inreach.... breadcrumb tracking means you could still get rescued if you cant set the device off... someone can see if youve been in the same location longer than expected...

i got rescued. i was very very lucky, pre PLB days.... i'd been walking off track for two weeks... crossing a river , my foot got caught, fell over and twisted my knee and couldnt walk on it without a major limp, didnt cause me serious stress. so no shock. weather was warm and fine..... it was a rough as river, a stretcher carry would have taken a day to get me out... lucky because the day before we were in a poxy gorge sidle and that would have taken several days to carry out, there wrent any winch equipped helicopters and the helicopter couldnt have landed anywhere nearby, not sure they'd have found me in the thick forest. when it happened some of my group were talking to someone else on the river, second person we'd run into in 2 weeks... so the guy our group were talking to on the river was on a training run, so he ran off to the next hut a couple of hours away... nearest we'd been to a hut for a week.... and it was one of the few around with..... a mountain radio in it...... 3 hours later the thud thud thud of an air force iroquois. dropped me off at a park near the hospital an hour later. the police were waiting for me and wanted to know who called the helicopter... I didnt actually know, i just said it might have been through mountain radio.... only specific authorities like the police can call a rescue helicopter, otherwise.... it's.... chargeable.... they decided it was DOC, but it might have been the radio service that mans the radios.... anyway after escaping a bill for several thousand dollars which might have been more than this poor teenager could afford, I was in the hospital i sat there for 4 hours .... there was a scout jamborie on nearby... there was a procession of injured scouts being wheeled in ... check showed nothing was broken so i got turfed out, pity the poor people sitting next to me on the plane.... sitting in my clothes unwashed for 2 weeks... so i was home the same day i got injured. oh how times have changed, beam me up scotty....
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby wildwanderer » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 8:15 am

Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:
wildwanderer wrote:Seems the telcos put the investment in data speed not robustness of signal. Unless you have no obstruction to the tower the reception is not what it was...
No not really, and in many ways 4 and 5G is more robust (eg. far less susceptible to signal fade/loss in dense/complex topography or built environments). Telcos need to keep up with evolving standards, and in soooo many ways 5G is (or will be when more fully deployed) a far better technology (it's also a great vaccine delivery vector :p). It's just that by nature of the multiple access scheme that the technology uses, 3G in general has/had more "fortuitous" reach beyond the planned coverage area. 4 and 5G use a different multiple access scheme that is far more optimal for most purposes but doesn't necessarily get as much of that extra fortuitous coverage. While that extra coverage obviously benefits our community when plonking around in remote areas, it's not reasonable for telcos to maintain superseded technology for such relatively minor benefits when compared to the far greater and wider reaching (not necessarily geographically haha) benefits of newer standards.



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I'm not an expert but according to Thales. (Major tech firm) https://justaskthales.com/en/reader-res ... -3g-4g-5g/

With any mobile phone network, signal comes from the frequencies used. In general, low frequencies are most reliable and capable of penetrating obstructions like buildings, which is why 3G will often work in more places than 4G.


I agree 4g and 5g have vastly superior data speeds/capacity and can handle more users at once. However living in a apartment with insulated windows the 4g and 5g signals really struggle to penetrate. My calls are now consistently bad quality.
Similar in the bush. The 3g signal handles obstruction better than the higher frequencies.

But yes, if the signal is clear I do like the zippy speeds of 4g/5g. :)
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Warin » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 8:41 am

wildwanderer wrote:But yes, if the signal is clear I do like the zippy speeds of 4g/5g. :)


Most people want the zippy speeds .. and they get it in the populated places. The telcos are satisfying at least 90% of the demand/market. The other 10% would cost too much money i.e. there is little to no profit in it. The development is for zippy speeds - not coverage, it is what the market wants.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 1:17 pm

While it may be what the market wants that isn't the same as what the country needs and there the old analogue system was very good.
I never understood why we couldn't have a dual system; apart from the fact of there being more profit in the digital system perhaps.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Warin » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 3:35 pm

Moondog55 wrote:While it may be what the market wants that isn't the same as what the country needs


The 'country' is not prepared to pay for it. End of wishful thinking.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Xplora » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 6:31 pm

Warin wrote:
Moondog55 wrote:While it may be what the market wants that isn't the same as what the country needs


The 'country' is not prepared to pay for it. End of wishful thinking.

This is precisely the point. The money is in data. If people only wanted to make phone calls it would be so much easier and cheaper. We would also get better coverage for phone calls. Who is going to pay? To get a mobile phone tower to cover and area the telco companies need a minimum of 1000 customers. That is not 1000 people. It is 1000 customers. What is happening now, with the assistance of the government, remote communities have to lobby telco providers to agree to install in their area if the government provides funding under the blackspot program and the communities are being asked by the telco companies to contribute directly. The mobile phone blackspot program tender system is discriminatory and no longer works for disadvantaged people. If the community is not viable it will not be highly sort after. Things changed with the MPBSP a number of roll outs back. It used to be the tenders were based on merit of the location but then there were problems because a particular company won a number of tenders and was not in a position to provide the service. It was too hard and too costly. The government then let this company out of the tenders (which was a legally binding agreement) and those communities were left with nothing. The telco company did not have to pay back tender money it had spent. I could say more but not on this forum. It should be the subject of a senate enquiry.

We are at the mercy of the telco companies when it comes to coverage. Governments are useless.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Moondog55 » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 9:41 pm

Why shouldn't the "Country" as a whole be a total unit? Despite the fact that the majority of the population is crammed into the coastal fringe that doesn't mean the rest of them should be penalised for choosing not to live there; or not choosing but forced by circumstance.
One country divided?
OK Lets re-nationalise the telecommunications network and **** the billionaires?
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Warin » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 10:18 pm

Moondog55 wrote:Why shouldn't the "Country" as a whole be a total unit?


It was under the PMG, then that got divided into post and telephone. Then phones were sold off

Under the PMG things were still different from city to country side. That continued even when they divided it up. Back in my Grandfathers day postal deliveries in Sydney could be 3 times per day, but once a week in Lake Cargelligo ... yes he resided in both places.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Sun 10 Apr, 2022 10:54 pm

wildwanderer wrote:
Walk_fat boy_walk wrote:
wildwanderer wrote:Seems the telcos put the investment in data speed not robustness of signal. Unless you have no obstruction to the tower the reception is not what it was...
No not really, and in many ways 4 and 5G is more robust (eg. far less susceptible to signal fade/loss in dense/complex topography or built environments). Telcos need to keep up with evolving standards, and in soooo many ways 5G is (or will be when more fully deployed) a far better technology (it's also a great vaccine delivery vector :p). It's just that by nature of the multiple access scheme that the technology uses, 3G in general has/had more "fortuitous" reach beyond the planned coverage area. 4 and 5G use a different multiple access scheme that is far more optimal for most purposes but doesn't necessarily get as much of that extra fortuitous coverage. While that extra coverage obviously benefits our community when plonking around in remote areas, it's not reasonable for telcos to maintain superseded technology for such relatively minor benefits when compared to the far greater and wider reaching (not necessarily geographically haha) benefits of newer standards.



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I'm not an expert but according to Thales. (Major tech firm) https://justaskthales.com/en/reader-res ... -3g-4g-5g/

With any mobile phone network, signal comes from the frequencies used. In general, low frequencies are most reliable and capable of penetrating obstructions like buildings, which is why 3G will often work in more places than 4G.


I agree 4g and 5g have vastly superior data speeds/capacity and can handle more users at once. However living in a apartment with insulated windows the 4g and 5g signals really struggle to penetrate. My calls are now consistently bad quality.
Similar in the bush. The 3g signal handles obstruction better than the higher frequencies.

But yes, if the signal is clear I do like the zippy speeds of 4g/5g. :)


Yeesh. Ok then.... Yes lower frequencies propagate further and penetrate buildings better than higher frequencies. And yes higher frequencies have more bandwidth (therefore speed) available since frequency is on a logarithmic scale. But the discussion is about 3G vs 4G/5G, not low band vs high band. The above excerpt assumes that 4/5G uses higher frequencies than 3G... not true. 3G (including low band) is being/has been replaced by 4G and now 5G (the latter not yet in low bands, but soon will be). 3G doesn't provide better urban/apartment coverage than 4G on any given frequency, all other characteristics being equal. In fact it's quite the opposite in built areas given 4G's ability to deal with fade that you get in those environments. 5G antenna systems when deployed at those lower frequencies will be better again. My previous post was about fortuitous coverage at the *edge* of the coverage footprint, for which 3G historically fared better for the reasons previously stated

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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Xplora » Mon 11 Apr, 2022 7:41 am

Moondog55 wrote:Why shouldn't the "Country" as a whole be a total unit? Despite the fact that the majority of the population is crammed into the coastal fringe that doesn't mean the rest of them should be penalised for choosing not to live there; or not choosing but forced by circumstance.
One country divided?
OK Lets re-nationalise the telecommunications network and **** the billionaires?


Country areas are already significantly subsidised but the cost of maintaining infrastructure in remote areas comes with a trade off. Forty years ago everyone could get a phone line to their house for nothing, no matter how far from the road your house was. Telecom wanted people to have a connection. Now when the copper wire network fails in a remote area it takes 3 weeks to get it fixed. Pay phones are free because it costs more to send people out to collect a few coins. When they are full of coin they end up free anyway. People complained about Telecom having a monopoly so the government changed it. Is it better now we have competition? People are still complaining but it is cheaper to have a phone now than it was 40 years ago. You might have to buy your phone now but then all your calls are free. I pay $20/month and 40 years ago that was just line rental. Calls were charged.

People choose to live in a remote area and that choice has a consequence. It doesn't mean we don't try to make it better but we understand it is always going to be an uphill battle. There are some trade offs to the lifestyle and I accept poor communication to be one of them. But hey, I am able to search the internet and make phone calls through it also. Not so bad and a 5km limit in lockdown gives me the ability to ski or walk a mountain without anyone else around.

My concern is for those who visit or pass through these remote areas and are not as adjusted to the lack of communication. I am not sure how people did it 40 years ago (read sarcasm). Less even. Travelling the country without a GPS, phone, PLB. It is comforting to have these things and has become a discomfort when you don't.

Re-nationalise telecommunications? Dreaming. It is just too much of a business now. And why anyone would need or want a postal delivery 3 times a day is beyond me but I do remember the postie coming around twice a day at least. I think twice a week is enough for anyone in the city or country. I worked remotely in the Kimberley a while back and the mail came by plane once a week. It was great. You looked forward to mail days.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Walk_fat boy_walk » Mon 11 Apr, 2022 8:36 am

Xplora wrote:
Moondog55 wrote:Why shouldn't the "Country" as a whole be a total unit? Despite the fact that the majority of the population is crammed into the coastal fringe that doesn't mean the rest of them should be penalised for choosing not to live there; or not choosing but forced by circumstance.
One country divided?
OK Lets re-nationalise the telecommunications network and **** the billionaires?

Re-nationalise telecommunications? Dreaming.

Yeah haha nbn anyone?

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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby crollsurf » Fri 22 Apr, 2022 5:24 pm

I said I'd give an update re insurance:
ACT Ambulance rescued me but NSW Ambulance sent me a bill which I asked for clarification. NSW Ambulance response was that I should expect a bill from ACT Ambulance and if I don't pay their bill, they will "send debt collectors around to your house"! At this point I haven't received a bill from ACT Ambulance so I'll pay the bill and see. I suspect there is some kind of arrangement between the Ambulance services but that wasn't in anyway explained to me.

Medicare does not cover ambulance as others have already pointed out. I have what is known as "Junk" Insurance, basically the cheapest level you take out, to avoid paying the Medicare levy if a PAYE worker. My junk policy does cover ambulance, which is good, so most of us are covered but worth taking a look to make sure.

NSW Ambulance does seem to have some kind of discount/exception for people that have a Veterans' Affairs card, Centrelink Pension Card, Commonwealth Seniors Health or Health Care Card.

My ankle/fibula is healing nicely, still a bit swollen and bruised, but not much now. I'm walking around the house bare footed but still using a CAM boot when I go out. No crutch or walking stick. Definitely not suggesting you use these services as a "Get out of jail free" card but I'm so happy I didn't damage my ankle further, it looks like I'll make a full recovery. However I think I'll stick to the tracks for some time/years to come and I'm OK with that.
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Re: The day I triggered my PLB

Postby Kickinghorse » Sun 24 Apr, 2022 6:16 pm

Had the same injury in roughly the same time frame but with quite different experiences as concerns NSW Health. As stated earlier, with the help of my wife, got myself out to the nearest hospital which was Katoomba. They X Rayed and understandably reflected on the surgery required and sent me down the road to Penrith. Private car no ambulance.
Once there they asked whether I would use my health fund rather than go the free public route. And me thinking it might get me out of triage a bit earlier and into a bed, I said I was happy to do so. Won’t go into the experience further but with the rebate from my fund I was still up for $ 700. Didn’t even partially appreciate the pressure the health care system is under until I became part of it. Have to say that once things got going and an operation was scheduled the care and follow up I received was excellent.
Reference has been made in the past on this forum as to whether rescue via helicopter should be paid for by the one being rescued. Imagine what that would do to the hip pocket!

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