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New Technology Could Help Keep Track of Scouts

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New Technology Could Help Keep Track of Scouts




July 7th, 2006 @ 3:30pm

Sam Penrod Reporting


Recent high profile cases of Boy Scouts getting lost in the mountains has prompted Scout executives to find new ways to keep the scouts safe.


Some Boy Scouts have been told to go get lost, to help test out a new tracking system in case a scout really gets lost.


Keith Reber, Wilderness Tracker: "We're looking for three boyscouts who are out in the hills wearing radio transmitters."


The tiny transmitters were designed to track falcons, but they've been modified to keep track of boy scouts.


Keith Reber: "If there is a signal, there is a rescue. And our hope is that we'll be able to facilitate the rescues and make them a lot quicker, so that no one will have to stay out overnight and risk dying of hypothermia."


An airplane picked up the scout's signal and narrowed it down enough for rescuers to go in on the ground. We followed the beeps for about a half mile, and there, resting comfortably in the shade, were the three scouts and their leader.


Jacob Parrott, Boy Scout: "They found us and, if like this was a test, if it was the real thing, they really find you."


Brandon Boyer, Boy Scout: "I would tell them to wear it; it would help them out a lot if they got lost."


The scouts say that from the time the plane flew over them until we found them was only about 30 minutes. The Boy Scouts see value in these trackers, if other safety guidelines fail.


John Gailey, Utah Nat'l Parks Council: "The buddy system, patrol method, leaders, we have a lot of training for leaders. Even with all of that, still someone can get lost."


The Search and Rescue says trackers can immediately narrow down where they should search for someone.


Lt. Dave Bennett, Utah County Sheriff's Office: "I like the fact it's existing technology. I'd like to see it used more often and I think it could be a great thing. If it saves one scout, it will be worth it."


It's technology to give Boy Scouts one more way to 'Be Prepared.'


The Boy Scouts in the Utah National Parks Council plan to lease the trackers from the company and hope to have these trackers ready for troops to check out, later this month.

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