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Garmin inReach helps in 10,000 emergencies

November 1, 2022  - By
A Garmin inReach with a map showing incidents. (Photo: Garmin)

A Garmin inReach with a map showing incidents. (Photo: Garmin)

InReach devices have provided SOS assistance on seven continents in more than 150 countries

Garmin International has announced that 10,000 SOS incidents have been aided with its inReach handheld device. InReach technology allows for location tracking, two-way text messaging, and critical SOS emergency-response services.

The Garmin inReach provides two-way communication and a coordination center staffed 24/7 to serve users engaging in activities such as mountain climbing or camping.

Garmin provided the following insights into who is using the device’s SOS capabilities, where, and in what situations. For more data insights, visit this blog.

  • The top five activities that produced incidents include hiking/backpacking, driving, motorcycling, climbing/mountaineering and boating.
  • Mountain regions such as the Pacific Crest Trail, the European Alps, and nearly all of New Zealand seem to have a high propensity for SOS incidents. However, cities like Los Angeles, Phoenix and Aspen have all reported SOS incidents ranging from cycling to hiking.
  • Medical emergencies and injuries represent nearly 50% of the global SOS incidents, highlighting the preparedness inReach provides users to meet unexpected or unforeseen events.
  • Nearly one in five incidents were triggered by a good Samaritan, who purchased a device for their own peace of mind but were able to assist someone else in need.
  • The second highest number of SOS triggers (12%) comes from driving incidents. Many driving SOS incidents involve people needing help while on the road and outside of cellphone service.
  • A few InReach incidents are pet emergencies, unexpected natural disasters, and reuniting a child with a parent.

Garmin Response center

The inReach devices have a dedicated SOS button and 100% global Iridium satellite network coverage. Users can quickly report an SOS should an emergency occur.

Once an SOS is reported, even if no other action is taken by the user, the device sends a distress message to Garmin Response, a 24/7-staffed professional emergency response coordination center.

Garmin Response will communicate with the individual in distress, his or her listed emergency contacts, applicable search-and-rescue organizations and other available local resources. The staff will deliver a confirmation when help is on the way, provide updates on the status of the response effort, and remain engaged until the incident is resolved.

“The two-way communication of inReach is so important in an emergency situation,” said Sarah Kramlich, Garmin senior director of services and subscription strategy. “After initiating an SOS, Garmin Response will ask questions to learn more about the incident and what appropriate first responses are needed for rescue, whether a tow-truck or helicopter.”

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About the Author:


Senior Editor Tracy Cozzens joined GPS World magazine in 2006. She also is editor of GPS World’s newsletters and the sister website Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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