cold_erin wrote:In terms of calling from a mobile on Buller, in most places you'll only get reception if you're with Telstra
All phones will use whatever network is available (ie Telstra
) to make an emergency 112 call. You don't even need to have a SIM in your phone.
You won't be able to call your Mum to explain why you'll be late for dinner if your home network doesn't have coverage, but you'll be able to call an ambo.
MTBing is no different to any other "remote area" recreation, in that emergencies are going to be more difficult to manage.
Self-evacuation (to a location identifiable and accessible by ambulance) is usually the best option; otherwise, you're looking at some level of S&R operation.
I've helped guide an ambulance in to an emergency location during a MTB race (the patient was within view of a fire road, and organisers had obviously sent the ambo that way from the event HQ).
In another case, we sent one rider back out via fire road to get his car and come back to pick up the patient, who we helped move from the track to the road while we waited; we then drove direct to hospital, rather than calling and waiting for an ambo (concussion and a collar bone, under observation of a firey and a few qualified "amateur" first aiders in case his condition changed).
Most of my emergency training (ancient history now) has been more to do with paddle sports. I used to do lots of whitewater kayaking, and did a few seasons as a commercial rafting guide, so that's the mindset I come from . On a river, there really is no option of calling an ambulance to pick up a patient. It's unlikely you could even get a helicopter in to winch somebody out of a river valley. Getting the patient stable then self-extracting is the only real option. In most cases, the easiest way to do that is down the river, because climbing out of a river valley is often near impossible, even if you aren't injured. If you can't get the patient's condition stable, then they don't have much hope of waiting for a rescue crew anyway. Luckily, the worst I've had to do was get somebody down a river with a dislocated shoulder.
If the patient really can't be moved - my approach would be to get the ambulance as close as possible using track names and landmarks, then lead them the final approach. And if you're looking at getting the patient extracted from somewhere that isn't going to be accessible by a conventional Sprinter ambulance, then the rescue team will know how to interpret GPS coordinates.
Always mindful that two patients is a much bigger deal than one, so no risks are to be taken when arranging or conducting a rescue.
 it also goes some way to explaining the contents of my first aid kit. I tend not to carry tweezers and bandaids. If an "emergency" is trivial enough to require tweezers and bandaids, you can put up with it until you get home (or find a bit of gaffer tape in a boat repair kit). I'm more interested in injuries that might jeopardise your chances of getting