+A.T.Hiker Posted July 27, 2013 Share Posted July 27, 2013 Hello folks. I was curious if anyone with police, fire, EMS, or any kind of rescue operations experience knows if there is a universal position format. Yesterday, I came upon a serious back country injury while hiking a pretty remote park in New York State, and rescue was needed. Fortunately, 911 was available via cellular network, but describing the location in situations like this can be challenging and they initially weren't even sure which county we were in. I provided the GPS coordinates and that seemed to be helpful for them to forward the call on to local personnel, who arrived surprisingly quick given our remote location, thankfully. But I know there are several position formats available, and it got me to thinking how it could lead to unneeded confusion and delay during a crisis. For example, you can do: DD MM.MMM DD.MMMMM DD MM SS.S There is also UTM and many others available to select on Garmin units. I provided DD MM.MMM for dispactch because that's what the Oregon defaults to. Here's an example: The north coordinate N41 07.250 is vastly different from N 41.07250 which is also different from N41 07' 25.0" yet I've seen them all used and they contain the same string of seven numeric characters. If I give dispatch N 41 07.250, and it gets entered as N 41.07250, that could be a big problem as one is base 60 and the other base 10. Any one of those could be mis-interpreted or mis-entered by rescue personnel leading to potentially serious location errors. I'm really curious based on my experience yesterday and would love to have this information handy for any future outdoor adventures. Hope I'm not drumming up redundant discussion points, but feedback is much appreciated on this issue. Thanks. Quote Link to comment
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.