This year Wenita is replacing our Personal Locator Beacons (PLBs) with new devices that provide more certainty if an incident is reported.

We are phasing out the old Tracplus Rockstar units for the new ACR 410RLS PLB units.

The decision to switch to the new ACR 410RLS was an easy choice for the team at Wenita, the main contributing factors being:

  • Return Link Service (RLS) technology which provides confirmation that Search and Rescue (SAR) has received your emergency message
  • a seven-year battery life
  • smaller and more ergonomically friendly devices for users in the field, and
  • a one-off purchase cost compared to an ongoing subscription fee.

The RLS technology is something that really drew us to this new PLB. With some tasks involving crews working in thick canopy cover, it is crucial to know a distress message has been successfully transmitted and received by SAR, confirming that help is on the way.

The RLS technology gives us certainty by providing confirmation that a distress mesage has been successfully sent. If the PLB does not indicate the message has been sent, the crew member can move locations and activate the PLB again in a more open area.

Although there are other processes in place such as our Working Alone Procedures, radio communication, and check-ins, the PLB is a key part of our emergency response.