Sat phone emergency number?
I have a quick question about sat phones. When I read my instructions this fall it said that even if not activated I could call an emergency number. The example was 112. When I turned it on and was waiting for activation, it said no service but there was an icon to select for an emergency number. What is the emergency number here, (911)?
This has been discussed before but I don't remember the answer (or even if an answer was given) and I can't find the thread.
I think the answer will also depend on whether you use the Iridium or Globalstar or some other system. I'll try to give you an answer regarding what will happen if you dial 911 with a Globalstar phone (probably the worst choice for service in Alaska). Mind you, this is a hypothetical answer since I have not done the actual experiment. Globalstar phones will access either the Globalstar satellite system or cell phone system. A phone call from an unregistered cell phone will be answered by some representative of a cell phone company somewhere in the peninsula - this actually happened to me twice last summer when I was making calls thinking I had satellite access when I had cell access instead. This is not a bad thing, since you will be talking to a human and, if you have an emergency, you can ask them to relay a message.
Globalstar has recently built a "gateway" somewhere on the peninsula. Satellite calls from Alaska are routed through this gateway. A 911 call will likely contact the 911 dispacher that is located nearest that gateway. Again, you will be talking to a human who is trained to handle emergency calls and the dispatcher will be able to relay your emergency message. If you step across the border and call from the Yukon, your call will most likely reach the Canadian gateway.
I don't know what happens if you dial 911 with your Iridium phone but I would like to hear about the results after somebody else tries it. If you have an Iridium phone, please try it and let us know.
What I have done, and what most people would recommend, is that you start by programming emergency contact numbers into your telephone's memory. The 'sticky' posted by Snyd above is a good place to start and you can add your personal numbers to the list. I have also included such numbers as the Diver's Alert Network, Arizona Poison Control Center, Communicable Disease Centre, and others, in my phone.
I hope this helps.
Thanks Dan. I have an Iridium and I have the Trooper's and Search and Rescue numbers in it. I would only use it for emergencies during hunting season and if I can call an emergency number without activation it saves about $40.
Emergency # Iridium
112 is the international emergency # for Iridium. It works all over the world. Not sure who answers it though.