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Re: [at-l] cell phones



Grey Owl wrote:
>                                           I have heard the argument
> that it is a good way to contact someone in the case of an emergency,
> but I cannot buy that argument.

A cell phone is an excellent way of contacting someone in an
emergency. The question to ask, however, is what good does it
do.

When this topic was being kicked around last year on ATML, one of
the best counter-arguments to the utility of cell phones was the
assertion (supposedly based on research and/or informed opinion)
that, in most rescues, the presence or absence of a cell phone
had no influence on whether the victim survived. Whether one
lives or dies is usually determined in the first twenty minutes
or so; well under the response time of wilderness emergency
services, even if summoned by cell phone. If you can live long
enough for the SRT to arrive, you most likely can tough out the
additional time for a passerby or companion to go overland for
help. Additionally, immediately treating the victim at the
accident scene buys a lot more time than a cell phone saves.

I suppose one can argue the point that a cell phone is useful
for getting professional assistance and medical advice during an
emergency, but what kind of advice do you expect them to provide:
1) in a litigation-happy society, 2) to a stranger many miles
away who 3) isn't even trained to properly assess the patient?
Most likely, they won't tell you anything that you couldn't
learn from a good book and a couple of weekend classes. They
definitely won't tell you anything useful if there's even the
most remote possibility that you, a presumed idiot, could make
matters worse for trying it.

"Take two aspirin and call me in the morning."

While there will be some incidents where a cell phone can make
the difference, it is much more likely that survival will be
determined in those first critical minutes, and you'll have only
your wits, training and equipment (in that order) to rely upon.
IMO, it's best to work on these before investing in a cell phone
for emergency use.

Some aphorisms for consideration:

Itís not what you know that counts; itís what you can think of
in time.

We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to
the level of our training.

Only a fool confuses preparedness with paranoia.

"Owning a handgun doesnít make you armed any more than owning a
guitar makes you a musician." -- Jeff Cooper

When all you have is a hammer, all of your problems begin to
look like nails.

A stitch in time saves nine.

--
mfuller@somtel.com; Northern Franklin County, Maine
The Constitution is the white man's ghost shirt.  }>:-/> --->


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