Half Dome – Yosemite Musing
Cell phone coverage is spotty when on the Half Dome trail. I see folks yacking in the canyon on the Mist Trail. I have ATT and it is limp. Did you know there are cell towers in the park? Along the busy routes where they can generate some income. Disguised behind trees, those sneaky phone companies are providing coverage in areas that I’d never expect.
Apparently Verizon has spent the most for coverage with the others lagging back. Most rescues at the park are started by a call to 9-1-1. I have only had to do it once – last summer a woman had heat stroke on the trail below subdome just north of the treeline. I got linked up with the dispatchers at the Emergency Communications Center. Help was soon on the way. Here’s some stats on the Center’s work. In 2009, Yosemite’s dispatchers handled over 76,000 phone calls. They are tasked with covering Lassen, Devils Post Pile as well as Yosemite. That includes 22,000 total incidents, 2,500 9-1-1 calls, 700 Medical Assistance calls, 250 Search and Rescue Incidents, 600 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 17 Fatalities, 34 Wildland Fires, 8,900 Vehicle Stops and 200 Structure Fires. A tip of that to the ECC!
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Whenever you call me, I’ll be there …Whenever you want me, I’ll be there …Whenever you need me, I’ll be there …I’ll be around.” -The Spinners
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com