Toll Free Number Encourages Outdoor Safety
SAFETY OUTDOORS – Your trusted outdoor
Safety Outdoors is the only safety check service in New Zealand that tracks you from start to finish with real people at the end of the phone monitoring every call or text in real time.
A significant point of difference is that it is a system that offers the convenience of texting or calling a toll free number, as well as registering online, with your details relating to any outdoor activity. It does not rely on email or internet connection and allows for any change of plans or last minute decisions.
The Safety Outdoors team will register your activity details and wait for confirmation that you’ve finished. If they don’t hear from you, and are unable to reach you, they immediately follow a checking process with every contact point provided. If necessary, the appropriate authority is notified.
Safety Outdoors Director, Stuart Fraser is confident the ease of using this system will improve the safety of tourists and kiwis alike.
“We want New Zealanders to take this on board as part of their outdoors routine, and tourists to be fully aware of the service when travelling. We want to encourage people to be responsible for their own safety.”
Whether it’s a seasoned triathlete in full-on training mode or a group of friends on casual weekend walks, the service accommodates every level of outdoor activity. It is a simple and accessible system that Fraser says works for anyone.
“We want this to be as practical and easy as possible. That’s why we built the system this way and have spent a lot of time testing it to make sure it works the way it needs to. There have been refinements to ensure every step works seamlessly and we plan to continue with ongoing development.”
There are several options available for users of Safety Outdoors for not only registering yourself but also your family and friends. The cost is per activity only and involves everyone in your group, not per person, making this both an affordable and effective new service.
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• The Department of Conservation no longer accepts Outdoors Intentions forms at their visitor centers and there is a critical lack of source information available for Search and Rescue efforts if required.
Concerned about the path DoC was taking led to Graeme Kates, previous Chair of local LandSAR, to resign from working for DoC in Arthur’s Pass. He has spoken publically about the removal of the Outdoors Intentions forms.
“We are waiting for something bad to happen because there is almost no one using the system now provided [by DoC]. In late September 2012 I surveyed almost 100 people on local walking tracks and found not one of them has completed any type of intention notice – this was a mix of kiwis and overseas visitors.”