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Falconer transmitters donated to Boy Scouts

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Boy Scouts To Be Equipped With Transmitters


(ABC 4 News)-- The cases of Brennan Hawkins and Garrett Bardsley are bringing the issue of boy scout safety to the forefront. Now, two ex-scouts are donating tools that may eventually help find lost troop members.


Demonstrating the technology, scout leader John Reese recently went looking for a lost scout in Millcreek Canyon. After a few short minutes, he locates the boy, who happens to be hiding.


The device used is a product of Marshall Radio Telemetry, a company owned by Robert Bagley. After hearing about the case of Brennan Hawkins, a Bountiful scout who was lost for four days in the Uinta Mountains, Bagley and his partner decided to make use of his technology.


"It was [my partner] who picked up the phone and said, 'we ought to do something about this,'" Bagley said. "I mean how many times will we hear about this again?"


Bagley and Lynn Blodgett are now donating 200 of the transmitters to local boy scout troops, so that leaders are able to attach them to young scouts and track their movements.


The devices will make scouts much safer as they explore the Utah wilderness, because they can transmit for up to 300 miles. It works underground as well as under water.


The devices are worth roughly $50,000, but Bagley and Blodgett say that's a bargain if it helps find a lost child.







Small Transmitters Donated to Scouts

Jul. 1, 2005


OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- In the wake of an 11-year-old Boy Scout's ordeal while lost in the Uintas, a businessman is donating 200 tiny radio transmitters to the Scouts' Great Salt Lake Council.


The transmitters, the size of nickels, have been used for years by falconers and on hunting dogs. The donated transmitters will be attached to lanyards and given to Scouts who take backcountry trips.


Lynn Blodgett, executive vice president of Affiliated Computer Services Inc., is donating the transmitters and four receivers.


"When this little boy was lost, my wife and I were talking about it," said Blodgett, in reference to Brennan Hawkins. "We thought what a shame it was with all this technology we have."


Blodgett sat down with Robert Bagley, president of Marshall Radio Telemetry of North Salt Lake, which makes the transmitters, and talked about using the devices for Scouts.


The transmitters send out signals every second, and the batteries last four to 10 days.


The hard aluminum casing also makes the transmitters waterproof.


"They can be underwater, and we will still walk right to the boy even if he were stuck under a log in the river," Bagley said.


The transmitters can be tracked from more than 115 miles away.


Kay Godfrey of the Great Salt Lake Council said troops will turn their tour permit in and will be able to receive enough transmitters and receivers for their party, Godfrey said.


"It's really easy to get disoriented," he said. "These will provide security and monitoring."


Blodgett would normally make an anonymous donation, but the council wanted people to know about it. The transmitters and receivers cost about $200 each.


"I just hope what it will do is that we can prevent at least one child from getting lost," Blodgett said.




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Sorry, it doesn't sound like a bargain to me. It sounds like an expensive gadget that will be rapidly lost or broken, the batteries of which will wear out and will probably fail or not be carried when it's needed.


What is needed is good training and discipline for the people involved in backcountry travel. And a whistle, perhaps.


Scouting is not supposed to be a walk in the park. A hike is an opportunity for the SM and AS to set up lost child and first aid problems for Scouts to encounter and solve for themselves. After they do that a few times, they will learn the skills and discipline that will protect them in the future.


Gadgets wont do that.




Seattle Pioneer



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