With rise in number of hiking incidents, GFD urges residents to practice safety measures

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With a myriad of recent lost hikers and search efforts, the Guam Fire Department is stressing the need for residents to enjoy the outdoors safely.

Kevin Reilly, GFD’s spokesperson, says there’s an increase of people participating in outdoor activities such as swimming and hiking and some believe that because it’s a well-known area, it’s somehow an easy adventure.

But Reilly told K57’s Patti Arroyo Monday morning that residents need to plan ahead.

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“Although it might seem like a simple hike, be prepared for the worst of it. Always keep your eye out on the latest weather report, watch out for homeland security when they issue notices, the NWS with their flash flood warnings,” Reilly said.

He added: “Again with technology, GPS, those things are important, extremely important for us as rescuers because we’re noticing that, if you have WhatsApp, you can drop us a pin to our incident command and we can go in, snatch you up, and get you out. But, when you have no communication… you know ‘I didn’t charge my cellphone all the way’, then it becomes a true search and rescue.”

Reilly says everyone should always have a buddy, carry a basic first aid kit, and pack enough food and water in case you have to overnight.

He also says if you do get lost… stay put! Move to a place where there’s a clearing and you can see the sky, and then don’t move.

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