In one lost hiker’s case, they climbed to the top of the highest mountain in Colorado—and apparently, they even preferred to spend the night there versus answering their phone! As the hiker explained once they found their way back to safety, they ignored rescuers’ calls because they didn’t recognize the number.
The hiker made national news and the search and rescue team used the opportunity to advise others that if they can’t meet their stated itinerary, they should answer their phone. While some people chided the hiker for a lack of judgement, others were sympathetic. As Stephen Colbert put in his monologue last night, “No can do, rescue guys, I’d rather eat my own frostbitten foot than risk answering a call about my vehicle’s warranty!”
Although some in the telecom industry may be the tiniest bit tired of dealing with STIR/SHAKEN, the Federal Communications Commission’s new laws around robocalling and Caller ID, Colbert’s comment hits home for all of us as consumers. My car is just fine, thank you! But the hiker’s entire situation might have been averted if the rescuer’s number popped up on Caller ID clearly labeled as… a rescuer.
Commio is committed to ensuring the integrity of every call and text message we deliver, by implementing the latest FCC rules to eliminate Caller ID spoofing and requiring brand and campaign registration for messaging—so when the next hiker gets a call or text, they can trust its source and respond!
All’s well that ends well, however there are several important lessons to be learned for those venturing into the wilderness. Experts note that once your phone battery dies, you become much harder to find. And cellular coverage isn’t always ideal in the woods, anyway. They recommend the following safety tips:
- Use SMS/texting vs. calling, which is more likely to go through and consumes less battery (and don’t try to leave your location on your voicemail, as one well wisher suggested)
- Text 9-1-1 early on if you feel you’re lost
- Disable unnecessary phone apps before you even start out
- Keep your phone warm to save on battery
- Bring a satellite communication device that allows two-way messaging
- Tell someone your itinerary before going on your hike
All great words of advice, but we’d like to add a few for rescue teams, as well:
- Make sure rescue numbers are SMS enabled (many are, but not all)
- Text the missing hiker before calling, if possible
- Check with your telephone service provider to ensure that you come up correctly on Caller ID
Now go enjoy some fresh air and colorful fall leaves!