LA3T has an internal group of volunteers that form our emergency communication group that is part of the local Search And Rescue (SAR) public service. This group of experts are ready 24×7 to be called out for action whenever our highly specialised services are needed.
To be part of this group you will have to undergo special training and be an aspirant helping out while learning in live operations. You will need to be able to take care of yourself in harsh environments such as snow, freezing temperatures, high winds, and at night-time potentially alone up in the mountains providing radio-coverage when needed. All at the same being an expert in handling our radio-equipment, emergency network and specialized computer mapping software.
Search And Rescue
NRRL is an official member of the FORF organisation as our services is an integrated part of the rescue services in Norway. Being part of FORF means that we coordinate and plan our tactical, practical and technical methods to be carried out during a SAR mission. In addition we work closely with government and the police force to make sure these life and time critical missions are carried out in the best possible manner.
Search And Rescue might be the most important contribution our members can provide to the rest of the society. Although we are not out doing the actual search, we are a vital part of the operation as we provide:
– Safety for the rescue people
During an operation the rescue teams often have to move into hazardous areas where their own safety is at risk. It could be a snow blizzard with limited visibility or they risk being caught in another avalanche while searching for missing people. Using radio technology with locally developed trackers and utilising our APRS coverage we know the exact location of all personnel which is critical if they themselves find the need for help.
– Coordinate the search activity
By knowing the number of teams out in the field, as well as their exact location, it is a good foundation for planning and coordinating the search. Using specialised mapping software everything is tracked in real-time and sound decisions can be made. Areas of interest can be discussed and plotted in our software.
– Documentation of the search operation
Using our Polaric Trackers we are able to store every movement the search teams are performing. As such, we can document which areas has been covered by a search and be a basis for further planning if necessary. This documentation is handed in to the local authorities after all operations.
A search operation might be in an area with poor cellular coverage, and in some cases without the emergency network available. In such cases we can provide radio communication using either HF or our extensive coverage of VHF repeaters. We also provide WiFi access with special antennas that might get a LTE signal through. In most SAR operations we also install mobile APRS digipeaters to make sure we have the best possible resolution of the tracking of the rescue teams. If needed these digipeaters can even be installed on mountain tops to cover remote areas.
We live in a remote area far above the arctic circle. The environment is tough, and if the weather is bad enough even the most resilient power lines may give up. This leaves populated areas without any form of communication, as the cellular towers, analog phone lines and even internet are missing. In these cases communication is vital to keep the community moving forward, and it can be life-threatening if an accident occur or someone being ill without being able to call for help.
In these cases our emergency communication group will either use our existing infrastructure or even install temporary relays so that we can provide the necessary communication. Usually these operations require the cooperation of many of the local NRRL groups in this part of the country.