Why Global Rescue?

Global Rescue provides worldwide advisory, field rescue and evacuation services, in both medical and security emergencies. 

  • Field Rescue from point of illness or injury, no matter how remote
  • Evacuation to the home hospital of choice
  • Services provided up to $500,000
  • 24/7 advisory services from medical and security specialists
  • Medical oversight from specialists at Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Paramedics deployed to member's bedside
  • Memberships start at $119

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Q&A with the American Alpine Club’s Phil Powers

  
  

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Phil Powers, Executive Director of the American Alpine Club
(Photo courtesy of the American Alpine Club)

American Alpine Club Executive Director Phil Powers has led dozens of expeditions to South America, Alaska and Pakistan's Karakoram Range, including ascents of K2 and Gasherbrum II without supplemental oxygen. He made first ascents of the Washburn Face on Denali and of Lukpilla Brakk's Western Edge in Pakistan, as well as the first winter traverse of the Tetons' Cathedral Peaks.

Phil recently spoke with Global Rescue about the upcoming Himalayan season, the AAC’s new campgrounds, and the tremendous rise in popularity of climbing gyms.

Q. The climbing season in the Himalaya is under way now through the next few months. What are your expectations for this season?

A. In big ranges like the Himalaya, the combination of extreme objective hazard and human ambition lead to a huge potential for accidents. Samuli Mansikka, 36, and Pemba Sherpa, 35, were just killed this week while descending from a successful summit of Annapurna; the season is clearly under way. Global Rescue is very much aware of the propensity for accidents during this pre-monsoon season. 

Q.  What are the upcoming seasons for other popular climbing spots?

In addition to pre-monsoon in the Nepal Himalaya, there is also a season in the fall after the monsoon retreats. The Karakorum Himalaya, which is further from the influence of the Indian Ocean, has a summer season like North America. Most of the climbing in Alaska happens in late spring and early summer. In South America -- places like Aconcaqua or Patagonia -- climbers are active from December through February. Antarctica has a similar season.

Q.  Tell us about the AAC’s new campgrounds. Have you seen a marked interest in camping by AAC members across the country?

We are just opening our newest at the gateway to the Shawangunks in New York. The Gunks campground has been a long time coming and we are really excited to finally open it. The campgrounds are for everybody (though AAC members get a discounted rate) and, yes, they are well-used.

Q. How is the popularity of climbing gyms impacting the climbing community? What things should people keep in mind as they transition from indoor to outdoor climbing?

A. Gyms are the biggest single trend facing climbing today, maybe ever. The Climbing Business Journal states that there are over 300 major gyms in the U.S. with 40 more opening this year. We estimate that about 2,000 people sign releases at those gyms every day. In other words, around 2,000 people are at least giving climbing a try every day. Some will stick with it and some will go outside. People get pretty strong and confident in a gym setting very quickly and making the move to outdoor climbing presents very real dangers. At the AAC, we are developing lesson plans and courses in partnership with regional clubs, like the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC), so we can meet this need. Interestingly, whether the accidents we see have to do with improper knots, lowering mistakes, or rappel errors, a majority of them have to do with not double-checking the systems you use. Climb with a partner you trust, communicate well, and check each other at every step. And of course, remember to get your Global Rescue membership before you head out – I know I will.

 

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Global Rescue supports The Heroes Project

  
  

Heroes Project, Everest, Global Rescue

USMC SSgt. Charlie Linville during the 2014 Everest attempt (courtesy of The Heroes Project)

As the 2015 Himalayan climbing season begins, Global Rescue is proud to provide support to The Heroes Project and the group’s attempt to summit Mt. Everest this year. The Heroes Project was founded in 2009 and is comprised of three initiatives: (i) CLIMBS FOR HEROES which supports wounded veterans who climb mountains as part of their recovery process; (ii) HOPE FOR HEROES which supports community service programs that assist veterans and their families; and (iii) VOICE FOR HEROES which provides media support for veterans' issues.

To date, The Heroes Project team, including veterans injured in Iraq and Afghanistan, has summited the highest peaks on six of the seven continents. Last year, an attempt to summit Everest was postponed following the tragic death of 16 Sherpas in an avalanche.  This climbing season, The Heroes Project team, which includes USMC SSgt. Charlie Linville, will be attempting once again to summit Everest. A documentary on The Heroes Project and their completion of the Seven Summits is scheduled to be released in late 2015.

Global Rescue is proud to provide travel risk and crisis management services to The Heroes Project climbers as they make their push for the world’s highest summit.

Altitude sickness: Life-saving tips for climbers

  
  
Global Rescue, Dr. Eric Johnson, Nepal

Global Rescue Associate Medical Director Eric Johnson, MD (left), in Nepal with aircraft personnel

As another Himalayan climbing season begins in earnest, Global Rescue has some information to share that should help our members deal with altitude sickness. Global Rescue Associate Medical Director Eric Johnson, MD, has been practicing high altitude medicine for decades, is one of the founders of Everest ER (the medical clinic at Everest base camp) and is an expert in treating altitude-related illnesses. Dr. Johnson offers this advice on how to recognize, treat, and avoid altitude sickness.

Altitude Sickness – What is it?

Altitude sickness is best defined as a series of symptoms that occur during travel at high elevation.  It can affect anyone who travels at altitude, regardless of age, fitness level, gender or ethnicity and if you’ve had it before, you may be more prone to recurrence. Symptoms are generally diagnosed in three broad categories:

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS):

AMS is the most common and least dangerous type of altitude sickness. The symptoms mirror those of a bad hangover and typically start at 8,000 feet in elevation. Symptoms usually start within a day or two of traveling to a new elevation and can include:

--Headache

--Feeling tired

--Feeling lightheaded

--Loss of appetite

--Trouble sleeping

--Nausea, sometimes with vomiting

High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE):

HACE is less common than AMS but much more serious. With HACE, the brain swells significantly, causing a loss of coordination both mentally and physically. HACE is especially dangerous to those climbing or mountaineering where the inability to ambulate (i.e. climb) can cost one’s life. These symptoms appear along with typical AMS indicators.  The following symptoms of HACE typically start after one to three days at altitude:

--Extreme tiredness and weakness

--Trouble walking normally

--Confusion and irritability

--Acting drunk or confused

High Altitude Pulmonary Edema (HAPE):

HAPE is also less common but more dangerous than AMS. HAPE occurs when fluid accumulates in the lungs and usually starts after two to four days at elevation. The symptoms of HAPE are:    

--Coughing

--Feeling breathless, with worsening exercise tolerance; shortness of breath   at rest

--Trouble walking uphill

Treatment:

If climbers begin to experience symptoms from HACE or HAPE, they should descend immediately and NOT continue to ascend on their trek or climb. Staying at the same altitude and allowing one’s body to acclimatize to the altitude can resolve mild symptoms of AMS. In an emergency, some mountain clinics may use oxygen (“the” drug at altitude) and/or a Gamow bag, a portable hyperbaric chamber that can increase the atmospheric pressure inside of it. Physicians may also prescribe medicines such as Acetazolamide (brand name Diamox) and Dexamethasone (brand name Decadron) to prevent and treat altitude sickness. If the issue is serious enough to warrant the use of these medicines, you should immediately descend.

Prevention:

The best way to prevent altitude sickness is to add a day or two into your trip to let yourself acclimatize to the new elevation. Even if these days aren’t specifically scheduled, give yourself an extra floating day to spend in case someone does come down with AMS and needs an extra day to adjust. Since AMS can resemble the symptoms of a hangover, it is important to refrain from drinking while at elevation. Not only will it make it difficult to discern the difference between a hangover and AMS, but it is also a good idea to stay in top shape while climbing or trekking. If you are traveling to a high elevation area, speak with your doctor about proper preparation.

A good review article with additional guidelines can be found at the Wilderness Medical Society: www.wms.org.

About the Author

Eric Johnson, MD, joined Global Rescue as an Associate Medical Director in 2009.  He is an expert in wilderness and altitude medicine and is a past President of the Wilderness Medical Society where he has served on the Board of Directors since 2006. Dr. Johnson also serves on the Board of Directors of the Himalaya Rescue Association and is a founding physician at Mt. Everest ER, the medical clinic located at Mt. Everest Basecamp.  Dr. Johnson is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and the University of Minnesota Medical School.

             

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In danger on Makalu: "The quick and very professional response of Global Rescue saved my life."

  
  

 Makalu, Global Rescue, Irena Mrak  Irena Mrak on the slopes of Makalu

In October 2014, Slovenian geography professor, experienced climber and American Alpine Club member Irena Mrak was attempting Mount Makalu (8463 m) and conducting glacier research on the slopes of the mountain, on the border of Nepal and China. After spending four weeks above 5800 m, she fainted on the last morning in Advanced Base Camp, after descending and cleaning the high camps the day before.

Mrak’s boyfriend, Dr. Tomaž Goslar, told The Himalayan Times: “On that day, her friends had called me in Slovenia to inform me that she had been complaining about difficulty in breathing and blurred vision. It was then that I felt something was seriously wrong.”

Her condition deteriorated quickly and she lost consciousness within four hours of the beginning of symptoms. She was airlifted from Makalu Advanced Base Camp to Lukla, where initial medical treatment was performed prior to continuing the transport to Kathmandu. 

Makalu, Global Rescue

The south face of the mountain 

At the time, Mrak was in critical condition. She had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit and was breathing on a ventilator.  For several hours, her pupils were unresponsive, she did not react to pain, and her condition did not appear to be improving.  Hospital staff presumed that Mrak would not live due to severe High Altitude Cerebral Edema (HACE) but continued their efforts. 

Hospital staff called Global Rescue, and we immediately deployed one of our critical care paramedics to Mrak’s bedside in Kathmandu. Once our paramedic arrived, he quickly arranged to have all of Mrak’s medical records sent to the Global Rescue medical team for careful review by Global Rescue and Johns Hopkins physicians. The following day, Mrak showed signs of increased consciousness and began breathing spontaneously, ultimately regaining consciousness.  Once out of ICU, Mrak continued to receive treatment for HACE and for a retinal hemorrhage.

The Global Rescue personnel met with Mrak’s physicians, obtaining details regarding the retinal hemorrhage from the ophthalmologist who examined her and assisting with the management of her care by relaying information to and from the attending and Global Rescue’s physicians.

With all tests and lab values showing continuous improvement in the following days, the Global Rescue medical team recommended that Mrak would be ready to be discharged shortly and to fly home to Slovenia. Dr. Goslar, an ICU physician in Slovenia, had flown to Nepal to be with Mrak and accompanied her home. He expressed his gratitude to the Global Rescue team.

Today, Mrak has made a nearly full recovery. She continues to experience residual visual disturbance in both eyes.  Based on further ophthalmological evaluations, Mrak’s specific eye injury showed her case to be unusual, even exotic, since a similar case has not yet been recorded in the medical literature. After four months, she has regained some vision and can read with difficulty but still cannot see colors properly. Mrak is optimistic that it will resolve even though the doctors are unsure.  Her illness was most likely a result of complete physical exhaustion after long exposure to high altitudes, extreme weather conditions (cold and wind), and poor diet (canned food, low on vitamins).

Irena Mrak 
 Irena Mrak 

“Global Rescue responded immediately and had their paramedic on site in less than 24 hours,” she noted.  “The Global Rescue operations personnel knew all the details about my case and could provide them to my family.  Global Rescue gathered all the necessary medical information from family members and shared them with hospital staff.  I would like to especially recognize the Global Rescue paramedic who attended to me for his professional attitude and warmth.

“Global Rescue did their job well. I have already informed the Alpine Association of Slovenia about our positive experience and will definitely recommend your services in the future,” she said.

Concluded Mrak: “The fast reaction of my climbing partner Mojca Svajger, the people in the ABC, Dr. Barun Rai, the American climber Garrett Madison and his Norwegian client Andrea, the Nepali staff, the doctors in Vajodha hospital in Kathmandu, and the quick and very professional response of Global Rescue saved my life.” 

Global Rescue, Irena Mrak, Mount Makalu

Irena Mrak (center),with climbing partner Mojca Svajger (left), and Global Rescue paramedic Michael James (right).

(All photos courtesy of Irena Mrak)

 

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Measles: What you should know

  
  
Global Rescue, measles, medical evacuation

With measles in the news following the outbreak originating at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, we would like to update Global Rescue members with facts about the disease and the current situation.

Measles is an airborne, highly contagious but preventable infection caused by the measles virus.  It is transmitted via droplets from the nose or mouth of infected persons, and remains active in the air or on infected surfaces for up to 2 hours.  At highest risk for infection and complications are unvaccinated young children, however any non-immune person (one who has not been vaccinated, or was vaccinated but is not immune) can become infected.  Onset of symptoms typically occurs 10 to 12 days after exposure, and may last up to a week.

Measles infection is characterized by:

-- Fever                                           
-- Cough
-- Runny nose
-- Red, watery eyes
-- Rash (flat red spots)

There is no specific antiviral treatment for the measles virus, though severe complications can be avoided via aggressive supportive care.  Proper nutrition and prevention of dehydration are key elements of measles treatment.  Antibiotics may be prescribed to combat additional complicating infections (such as ear/eye infections, or pneumonia).

Routine vaccination for children is a key preventative measure, and the accepted public health standard.  A single dose of MMR vaccine is approximately 93% effective at preventing measles, if exposed to the virus; the effectiveness increases to 97% with two doses.  Though measles is not prevalent in developed countries, it is still prevalent within the developing world – and accounts for nearly 150,000 deaths each year.  

U.S. outbreak background

The current measles outbreak began when nine people—eight of whom were unvaccinated—were infected after visiting the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California in December 2014. Dozens of patients have been linked to Disneyland visitors. Although the source of the outbreak is unknown, authorities believe it may have been imported by an unvaccinated individual who was infected overseas.

U.S. current situation

As of 11 February, local health officials state that 110 measles cases have been confirmed across California. At least 39 of the cases were linked to the Disneyland. Approximately 60 percent of the patients were aged 20 years or older and the majority of the patients were unvaccinated. One in five of the patients required hospitalization. 

Nationwide, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that at least 121 cases of measles have been confirmed across 17 states and Washington DC from 1 January to 6 February

U.S. outbreak forecast

Measles has not been considered endemic to the United States since a nationwide vaccination program eliminated the disease by 2000. Although sporadic outbreaks still occur throughout the country, most of these originate when an unvaccinated individual imports the case and is exposed to unvaccinated communities.

Outside the U.S.

While routine vaccinations have helped the U.S. reduce measles to very low levels, measles is still common in other countries. According to NBCNews.com, in 2014, Europe had 3,840 measles cases and Italy had 1,921 cases. In 2013, there were more than 10,000 cases across Europe. In the past five years, France has had more than 23,000 cases.

In 2014, the Philippines experienced a major measles outbreak that affected 57,000 people. China, Angola, Brazil, Ethiopia, Indonesia and Vietnam also experienced major outbreaks.

If you plan to travel internationally, consult the CDC recommendations for travelers here.

Ebola: What's next?

  
  

Global Rescue, Ebola, medical evacuation servicesIn January 2015, TIME Magazine published an article stating that the Ebola epidemic may end by June 2015 in Liberia. That outcome can be achieved, according to researchers, only if current hospitalization rates continue, as well as changes in cultural norms and burial practices.

As the focus shifts to ending the Ebola epidemic in the affected region of West Africa, there is cautious hope. According to the WHO situation report for 28 January 2015, there were fewer than 100 new confirmed cases reported in a week in the three most-affected countries (Guinea, 30; Liberia, 4; Sierra Leone, 65) for the first time since the week ending 29 June 2014. However, the WHO situation report for 4 February noted that the weekly case incidence increased in all three countries for the first time this year. There were 124 new confirmed cases reported in the week to 1 February.

While travel and commerce have resumed in other regions of Africa amidst decreased Ebola-related concerns, travelers to Africa should remain vigilant.

Global Rescue advises members to:

-- Adhere to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warning against non-essential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Travel to these affected West African countries should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. 

-- Pay attention to U.S. State Department and WHO updates. Follow the World Health Organization guidelines.

-- While hospital workers, laboratory workers and family members are at greatest risk of contracting the virus, individuals traveling to Ebola-affected countries should exercise basic health precautions including: 

-- Avoid areas of known outbreaks 
-- Avoid contact with infected individuals
-- Strict personal hygiene including frequent hand-washing should be adhered to while traveling in endemic areas 
-- Report any symptoms to health officials immediately

See more detailed recommendations in our previous post, Ebola: What you should know.

Contact Global Rescue at 617-459-4200 or operations@globalrescue.com with questions or concerns regarding Ebola.

 

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A critical need for medical assistance on Kodiak Island, Alaska: "The follow-up from Global Rescue was exceptional."

  
  
Don Detwiler, Kodiak Alaska, Global Rescue

Don Detwiler in Alaska

Global Rescue member Don Detwiler was hunting deer on Kodiak Island, Alaska, when his blood pressure spiked.  Detwiler immediately suspected he knew what had happened.

“I was taking decongestants and I just knew I had a sinus infection,” he said. “It was pretty bad.  I shouldn’t have been taking decongestants because I have high blood pressure.”

After hunting for only one day, Detwiler decided to take a couple of days off, hoping that his blood pressure would return to normal without medical assistance. Despite two days of rest, his blood pressure would not come down. “I didn’t want to call home to get my wife to call our family doctor because I didn’t want her to know what was going on. She would just worry.” Instead, he called Global Rescue.

The Global Rescue operations team advised him to be seen at a hospital immediately. Detwiler was flown by mail plane to a Kodiak hospital where the Global Rescue medical staff oversaw his treatment. As it turned out, Detwiler’s condition was more serious that he thought. “It took about three weeks before my blood pressure went down to where it should have been,” he noted.

Global Rescue, medical advisory services, Kodiak Alaska, SCI, Don Detwiler

Don Detwiler in Alaska

Global Rescue stayed in touch with Detwiler, constantly checking in on his progress. “The follow-up from Global Rescue was exceptional. I was impressed. There were multiple follow up phone calls.”

Detwiler, a Safari Club International member, does not intend to let this medical experience dampen his hunting plans. He states that he will not go anywhere without Global Rescue at his back. “I fully intend to renew my Global Rescue membership because I’m going to Mozambique in 2015, and I’m going to Turkey as well.” 

Don Detwiler, Global Rescue, Kyrgyzstan

Don Detwiler (right), Dan Soliday (center), and guide Saku (left) in Kyrgyzstan

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Alpinist Ian Welsted thanks Global Rescue after helicopter evacuation in the Himalaya

  
  

Noted alpinist Ian Welsted embarked on his first trip to Nepal in September 2014 to tackle the challenge of climbing the south face of Nuptse. It is “one of the truly legendary big walls of the Himalayan mountains,” Welsted later described it in his Alpinist magazine account.

Ian Welsted, Global Rescue, Nuptse

Ian Welsted climbing snow at 6,000 meters during the pair’s first attempt.

Ian Welsted, Jason Kruk, Global Rescue, Nuptse

Jason Kruk at the team’s high point of 6,500 meters on their second attempt, looking up at the 7,750 meter west summit of Nuptse.

Welsted and climbing partner Jason Kruk had spent six weeks in a base camp at 5,400 meters on the south face of Nuptse. Following an attempt to climb to approximately 6,500 meters on the mountain, the pair realized that they would not be able to succeed in climbing it. They descended, headed to the nearest town, and rested there for a couple of days.  Their plan was to walk to Lukla, two or three days away, on a well-beaten trekking trail. 

It was not to be. On the first day of hiking, as they had descended to about 3,800 meters, Welsted suddenly lost consciousness.  Once he regained consciousness after several minutes, he experienced headache, weakness and nausea.

“Jason phoned Global Rescue,” said Welsted.

The Global Rescue operations team spoke with the guide accompanying the team and immediately arranged a helicopter evacuation to Kathmandu.  Upon landing, Welsted was transported by ambulance to a hospital.

At the Kathmandu hospital, Welsted underwent a battery of tests, including an EEG, a CT scan, and later, an MRI.  Global Rescue operations professionals worked tirelessly to obtain copies of all tests, records and labs for the Global Rescue medical team to scrutinize.

Welsted confirmed that, while he had been taking good care of himself, he had never previously spent such a long period of time at such a high altitude.  Looking back, Welsted believes he passed out due to fatigue, stress, or some combination of the two.

“With Nuptse, you’ve got a base camp of 5,400 meters, which is certainly quite high. To climb at that altitude, you have to acclimate and we went for quite a long time,” he said. “Spending six weeks at 5,400 meters is the longest I’ve been at that high altitude for sure.”

 

Ian Welsted, Jason Kruk, Global Rescue

Jason Kruk getting ready for the day in a lightweight tent at about 6,000 meters with the famous Ama Dablam peeking out from behind.

The Global Rescue team worked closely with Welsted’s doctor until Welsted was ready to be discharged.

“One of the Global Rescue operations staff called me while I was still in the hospital and set everything in motion,” said Welsted. “Our tickets were changed so that I could fly home earlier.  I thought Global Rescue services were great.”

Welsted advised Global Rescue once he had safely returned to Vancouver, offering his sincere gratitude, and noting that he would be renewing his membership.

“Global Rescue covered all of my needs, more than to my expectations,” said Welsted, “I was heli-evacuated quickly and efficiently and then transported to the top hospital in Kathmandu. Upon discharge, Global Rescue took care of changing my return date to Canada, which was very helpful as I was in no great condition to deal with tracking down airline details.

“Without Global Rescue coverage, I would be out of pocket for the helicopter evacuation, which I am told would have cost upward of $5,000. I was on a mountaineering trip which already had a considerable bill attached, so I was very glad to have the Global Rescue coverage.

“I’ve shopped around quite a bit -- for example, the British Mountaineering Council has some kind of rescue insurance -- but Global Rescue seems to be the best way of doing things that I’ve found.”

Welsted, an American Alpine Club member who had previously traveled to Pakistan on three occasions, recalled how he first learned about Global Rescue.

“Steve Swenson, who was president of the American Alpine Club, was the one who introduced the idea of Global Rescue to us, and I joined the AAC to get a discount on the membership,” said Welsted.  “I know that Global Rescue had rescued Steve about two years ago in India. So, for climbers, Global Rescue definitely seems like it works really well.”

Welsted concluded, “I definitely will not go on a similar trip without Global Rescue coverage in the future. After this experience, I will continue to recommend Global Rescue coverage to all of my climbing partners and friends going on mountaineering trips overseas.”

 Ian Welsted, Jason Kruk, Global Rescue

Jason Kruk low on the mountain at approximately 5,500 meters with Ama Dablam behind.

Ian Welsted, Jason Kruk, Global Rescue

Jason Kruk following a steep snow pitch in afternoon cloud buildup at 6,300 meters.

Ian Welsted, Jason Kruk, Global Rescue

Jason Kruk below the unclimbed "Cobweb wall" section of the face, the objective the pair had chosen to attempt.


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A close call for Unbranded

  
  
Unbranded, Global Rescue

In spring of 2013, four graduates from Texas A&M University were beginning the trip of their dreams: riding 3,000 miles from the Mexican border to the Canadian border on horseback, using only wild mustangs.  Global Rescue is pleased to have supported Ben Masters, Thomas Glover, Jonny Fitzsimons, and Ben Thamer throughout their adventure and upcoming documentary, Unbranded.  In anticipation of the documentary’s release in winter 2015, Global Rescue spoke with Phill Baribeau, the director of Unbranded, for a glimpse into the making of the documentary.

Surprisingly, Baribeau had almost no experience with horses when he joined the project. He learned to ride well enough to travel 10 to 12 hours and 20 miles a day, with limited breaks for the horses.  Masters, the leader of the Unbranded team, previously had completed a similar 2,000 mile trip in 2010. “He always wanted to do another trip, something bigger, and do it all with mustangs just because they’re built for mountain travel and they live out here,” said Baribeau. “Ben also wanted to show the public by doing a film how incredible these horses can be if you train them right.”

Baribeau and his filmmaking partner could not bring an entire crew, so they almost exclusively split the filming between themselves and collected more than 450 hours of footage over the journey’s five-month duration.  “We were not filming all day every day, but definitely when it was scenic. At the same time, with horses you never know when something’s going to happen so you have to be ready at all times,” Baribeau said.

Unbranded, Global Rescue

Baribeau learned the readiness lesson the hard way on his “worst day of the trip.” A few days into the journey and feeling overconfident, he was caught off guard.  “We got off our horses to walk down a path, and I was talking to my buddy behind me, another guy filming. I walked right into the back of this horse and didn’t even see it coming. He kicked me in the thigh.  I went down and I thought I broke my femur. I actually considered calling Global Rescue.”

Instead, after realizing that the bone was not broken but was just a bad hematoma, Baribeau took a few weeks off to recover before rejoining the expedition.  However, the pain inflicted by the wild mustang could not ruin Baribeau’s memorable Unbranded experience, which included riding through the Grand Canyon and “across the Colorado River on a suspension bridge, and then Glacier National Park to end the trip.” 

Unbranded, Global Rescue

While wrapping up post-production, Masters will meet with Baribeau and bring along four of the horses from the journey. “We’re definitely going back to this spot below Yellowstone called the Thoroughfare. We’ll probably spend a week back there just camping and fishing. I’m glad he has horses so we can still get out.”  For his part, Baribeau is excited to relive the trip -- without cameras, for a change.

Unbranded, Global Rescue

 Unbranded, Phill Baribeau, Global Rescue

Unbranded director Phill Baribeau

5 Tips for Staying Healthy and Safe during Holiday Travels

  
  
Global Rescue, travel tips, medical evacuation
As many people prepare to travel this holiday season, Global Rescue offers these tips to help reduce the medical and security risks associated with traveling this season, particularly for those traveling abroad.

1. Have the ability to call for help, know how to call for help, and know where you would want to go for help.  Outside of the U.S., dialing “911” does not work. Have a way to call for help: a local cell phone or SAT phone. Consider bringing an extra battery or portable charger for your phone or, if you have a smart phone, buying a battery phone case (such as Mophie) that will extend your phone’s battery life to avoid being caught with no way to communicate in an emergency. Know how to dial that number based on international calling configurations, and what number to call for emergency medical services.

2. Know your health insurance policy and service coverage. Know in advance whether your plan covers medical bills if you are hospitalized while traveling internationally. Do you have medical evacuation coverage for emergency medical transportation, and trip cancellation insurance in case you miss your flight due to a medical emergency?  In any case, be sure to have a backup plan to pay for emergency care if needed in the event that the medical facility you visit will not work with your health insurance provider.

3. Bring your own pharmacy. Travel with basic over-the-counter medications and a small first aid kit, because there is no guarantee that you’ll find a pharmacy around the corner. Pain relievers, medications to control a fever, antacids, allergy medicine, antibiotic ointment, eye drops, decongestants, cold medicine, and yeast infection treatments are just a few items we take for granted that can be obtained easily at drug stores at home. Bring any necessary travel medications with you, such as malaria prophylaxis and traveler’s diarrhea treatment.  Do not assume you will be able to source these medications in other countries.  Any medications purchased abroad may not be subject to the same manufacturing standards and quality control you expect at home. If you take a prescription medication, be sure to bring double the amount that you need in case travel plans are delayed.  

4. Be familiar with health and security concerns relevant to the location.
There are general health advisories, health and security risk assessments and food and water safety precautions specific to different regions. Your travel medical provider should be able to review any individual health concerns specific to you and your medical history and your itinerary.  Be sure you have the necessary information to prevent health and safety risks associated with your particular travel itinerary. Global Rescue members have access to GRID, our online intelligence platform, for detailed destination reports and up-to-the-minute information on global medical and security events.

5. Never travel without a Global Rescue membership. Medical and security emergencies can threaten your life at the worst possible time, when you’re away from home, far from friends, family and support.  Global Rescue medical membership includes medical evacuations from anywhere in the world to your choice of home-country hospital, any time you are more than 160 miles from home and need hospitalization. Global Rescue excels at Field Rescues for medical emergencies requiring hospitalization in the event you are in a remote location and cannot get to a hospital on your own. Membership includes 24/7 medical advice and support from world class physicians at Johns Hopkins Medicine. By upgrading to include security, members protect themselves from non-medical emergencies.  If Global Rescue determines that a member is in danger of imminent grievous bodily harm, we provide security and transport services, up to $100,000, from their location to the member’s home country.  We strongly recommend a security upgrade whenever there is risk of natural disaster, civil unrest, terrorism, or war.

 

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