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Vermont Activates Personal Locator Beacon

High-speed data terminal supported mobile communications during exercise

by / July 9, 2003
WATERBURY, Vt., -- Vermont announced a field exercise for the country's first Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) activation in early July. The exercise was supported by EMS Technologies' high-speed data storm terminal for voice, data and video communications.

The Vermont State Police and staff from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC), the entities responsible for managing land-based emergency alerts in Vermont, oversaw the PLB exercise, which began when two troops of Vermont Boy Scouts set off PLBs in a wooded area of Waterbury.

For the PLB exercise, the terminal was installed in the Vermont State Police Mobile Command Post, where officials managed the rescue response by viewing data from a search-and-rescue (SAR) information system. The SAR system provided real-time data feeds and maps of the area to support the search-and-rescue effort.

Hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts in distress can activate a PLB, which will allow rescue organizations to track their location quickly over a satellite system, in much the same way that downed aircraft and ships are located.

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Miriam Jones Chief Copy Editor
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