The purpose of this document is to provide information to the emergency contacts of participants in RyanJordan.com / Backpacking Light Wilderness Trekking School field courses, with appropriate contact information and emergency procedures that will be followed in the event of an emergency.
Your lead course instructor will provide you with the name and contact information for the primary in-town communications liaison assigned to your trek.
If you do not have this information and you need to contact the CL, please submit an email via the Contact Form here.
Our crews carry satellite devices with the capability for satellite voice, SMS (text messaging), and SOS communications, and will communicate directly with emergency management personnel, and/or Stephanie Jordan as appropriate. Our crews will not communicate to other designees on behalf of participants, unless required in an emergency situation.
The Communications Liaison will have a complete roster of course participants (names, addresses, phone numbers, emergency contacts), as well as each course participant’s health history and medical release form.
Routine Notification Procedures
Our courses usually end close to 7:00 PM on the final day of the course, and will communicate their status with the liaison upon their arrival at the trailhead via SMS. Course participants are expected to contact their emergency contacts on their own, which is usually done with their own phones when we arrive back into cellular service range. Most often, this occurs one to two hours after our arrival back at the trailhead.
Therefore, please do not contact our Communications Liaison for a status update prior to 9:00 PM. Your first request for an update should be sent to the Communications Liaison via SMS if possible.
Delay Notification Procedures
In the event of a delay in the exit time of a crew that may prevent the participants from contacting their emergency contacts prior to 9:00 PM on the last day of the course, our crew will notify the Communications Liaison and the Communications Liaison will send either an email or an SMS notification to each participant’s emergency contact with a status update. Changes in status updates will continue to be sent via email or SMS until confirmation is received from the crew that they have arrived back at the trailhead.
*** IMPORTANT: NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS ***
Sometimes, due to geography, weather, and other situations beyond the control of our crew, our crews are not able to provide timely satellite communications updates. An example would be if their final day’s trek was occurring in a narrow canyon where satellite reception was compromised with a narrow view of the sky. In these cases, our Communications Liaison may not receive a status update from our crew. In every case, we always adopt a “no news is good news” mentality, and wait patiently to hear from our crews. In these situations, rest assured that if there is a life-threatening emergency, our crews are trained to designate one selected course instructor and one or more participants to proceed immediately to a reliable communications location (e.g., a ridge or mountain top) to initiate an emergency management plan. Likewise, the Communications Liaison shall initiate a “Late Report” with the County Sheriff’s with the appropriate jurisdiction. This plan will usually be initiated at MIDNIGHT on the last day of the course, but only if no communications whatsoever are received from our crews via SMS, satellite phone, SPOT, etc. since 9:00 PM.
Emergency Notification Procedures
In the event of a non-life-threatening emergency, our crew will notify our communications liaison, and as needed, emergency management personnel. In non-life-threatening emergencies, our participants’ emergency contacts are typically not notified until the situation has stabilized and an emergency management plan has been made. Once this happens, the Communications Liaison will notify the participant’s emergency contact with a status update.
In the event of a life-threatening emergency, our crew will communicate primarily with professional emergency management personnel as well as the Communications Liaison. The Communications Liaison will remain in regular contact with the participant’s designated emergency contact throughout the duration of the emergency and provide changes in status as needed.
Emergency Procedures Filing
These emergency procedures will be filed with County Search and Rescue, the County Sheriff’s Department, the Communications Liaison, and a designee at the appropriate Land Management Agencies where the course is being held.