News January 18, 2019

Lifeseeker System Could Help Rescues

by Jackson Hole Radio News

Teton County Search and Rescue has a new tool in its arsenal to help locate those in need of assistance in parts of the county where there is no cell phone service to call for help. Former Teton County Search and Rescue Director Tim Ciocarlan says the Lifeseeker system has been tested and under evaluation here for about three years.  Now thanks to a generous donation, TCSAR was able to acquire the Lifeseeker technology to add to their resources this week.

“I’ve seen it in live action two or three times in Europe, I’ve seen it in live action six or seven times here. We had a little difficulty in the early years here…but they worked through that and it’s pretty extraordinary what the tool does. It won’t do anything out in the valley necessarily when there’s cell phone coverage – it can’t do anything: it doesn’t have any capabilities there but as soon as you’re in the no-service area, it works quite well.”

Ciocarlan explains that Lifeseeker is an innovative airborne system capable of locating mobile phones accurately even in areas without network coverage and under adverse weather conditions.

“As most people carry cell phones these days, if that cell phone still has power and we know the general location, (we have a limited range), we should be able to find them. It does two things: not only it increases the survivability or the chance of somebody to be found quickly and get to defined care sooner, but it also has a significant advantage of more than likely cutting down on rescue search time.”

Even if the victim is unable to place a phone call, his phone can be pinged and in effect turned into an emergency beacon capable of leading rescue teams to its exact location. Ciocarlan says the system will also be able to be utilized when working with other search teams in the region.