Medical transports. You hope you never need them but it's good to know they're available if you do. Image:: Global Rescue
Global Rescue | Tessa Cook
The Transfer Snowboard Mag guys discovered this gem of a service while planning a pretty amazing but extreme snowboarding trip. It sounded almost too good to be true, for a very reasonable cost you can secure a rescue service that will literally save you in any medical - or security - emergency.
The right travel insurance is the most vital item on a snow holiday checklist. Just imagine breaking a leg off piste somewhere in the European Alps and having to choose between somehow getting yourself back on the groomers before calling ski patrol or forking out for a backcountry rescue because your insurance doesn't cover off piste skiing.
Travel insurance doesn't favour the adventurous, and that's not just in the snowsports world. If you bother to read the insurance policy fine print you'll find the 'won't cover' list is disturbingly filled with the kinds of activities you're very likely to enjoy, some of which are hardly 'extreme' - sailing for instance.
Global Rescue is the genius idea filling the gap. It's an indemnity policy for anyone who does anything more exciting on holidays than lying on beaches or taking bus tours - and even for those lazy-style holidays if you're somewhere with a dubious medical system. Basically, a Global Rescue protection plan gives you guaranteed rescue from anywhere in the world and insures you receive good quality medical treatment.
So read how it works, watch the video and next time you're heading off somewhere a little bit adventurous seriously consider a Global Rescue package - even if only because you're superstitious and believe the more you prepare for the worst the less likely it is to happen! Note though, Global Rescue isn't travel insurance, you still need a travel insurance policy for medical treatment, and for all those other things, lost luggage, stolen cameras, crashing your hire car into a Maserati...
Here's how it works...
1. You take out a Global Rescue plan. There's a range of plans from annual membership (constant, year round coverage for all your adventure activities) to short term seven day cover.
2. You now have access to Global Rescue's team of medically trained consultants, thanks to Global Rescue's partnership with the world renowned John Hopkins Hospital. They are available by phone any time you need any kind of medical advice or assistance, from questions about niggling problems to directions to the nearest medial centre in remote areas.
3. If something does occur and you do need hospitilisation, Global Rescue will come get you, wherever you are - WHEREVER you are - in the shortest time imaginable and take you to the best place for treatment. If you're seriously injured that's most likely going to be the closest place, but Global Rescue has a network of hospitals all over the world and will make sure you're going where you'll get the best care. If you have a preference - they'll take you there. And once you're in their hands, Global Rescue will look after you until you're home.
4. To accomplish this Global Rescue has teams of deployable medical personnel plus specialised partners all over the world. If you need a fully equipped medical jet, you'll get one.
5. If necessary, Global Rescue will send a medical advocate to your bedside to ensure you're getting the best treatment.
6. As long as you're at least 160 miles from home and require hospitalisation (ie you can't call them cause you have a flat tyre somewhere between Darwin and Alice Springs) they will come get you.
7. Global Rescue also offers security cover. Emergency evacuations for non-medical reasons, including war, civil unrest, natural disasters, or other causes. Same deal as the medical cover, if there's a Government advisory to leave the area or you're in imminent danger, Global Rescue will get you out.
At US$329 for an annual medical membership it's probably the best value thing you'll purchase for your next holiday. Just note - Global Rescue isn't a travel insurer, you'll still need insurance to cover any hospital or other medical treatment.
A Global Rescue rescue story
Located in the foothills of the Peruvian Andes, the Colca Canyon has been described by National Geographic Adventure Magazine as "the world's deepest canyon... where frequent unpassable stages require brutal portages, and where canyon walls rise to heights of 12,000 feet, leaving no possibility of hiking out." While traversing a narrow trail at 8,500 feet, a member of a hiking party lost his footing and tumbled 50 feet down a steep slope into the canyon. The expedition's medical officer observed lacerations and other injuries to his hands, arms, head and thorax and determined the injured hiker needed to be evacuated for further treatment and evaluation.
Within twenty minutes of receiving the call, Global Rescue activated assets in the region that included both American and Peruvian fixed and rotor-wing aircraft. Global Rescue operators then instructed the hiking party to build a signal fire and to identify a landing zone to accommodate the helicopter. Global Rescue also had a team prepped and ready to perform a ground rescue if the helicopter wasn't able to land, which is frequently the case in very rough terrain. The helicopter successfully identified the party's signal fire and evacuated the injured hiker. Once the patient was extracted, Global Rescue had a medically configured turboprop airplane rendezvous with the helicopter at the nearest available airstrip. From this remote airstrip, the patient was flown to Lima where his wounds were cleaned and bandaged prior to his evacuation to the United States.
Successful field rescue and evacuation of the injured hiker despite high altitudes and rough terrain.