Call 911 for police, fire or ambulance.
Remember, cell phones are not always reliable in the backcountry.
Consider renting a satellite phone. Although not 100% reliable, sat phones will usually work from most locations in the mountain parks, but 911 operators may be confused when you call from a sat phone – hence the backcountry numbers listed below.
Make sure the batteries are fully charged before departure, and carry a spare. Also make sure you have written down the emergency numbers and keep them with the phone.
|National Park||Emergency #||Backcountry Emergency #|
|Banff||911||403 762 4506|
|Yoho||911||403 762 4506|
|Kootenay||911||403 762 4506|
|Jasper||911||1 877 852 3100|
|Glacier||1 877 852 3100||1 877 852 3100|
|Mt. Revelstoke||1 877 852 3100||1 877 852 3100|
|Waterton Lakes||403 859 2636||403 859 2636|
When you call a 911 operator, you should state that you are in the backcountry of - - - - - - - National Park, have an emergency and require the Warden Service. They will connect you.
Using a Garmin inReach to call Parks Canada Visitor Safety for HELP
To use a Garmin inReach in an emergency in the National Parks:
- Push the SOS button and then exchange texts with the inReach Emergency Call Center (ECC) to clarify the location and nature of your emergency.
- The ECC will notify Parks Canada and pass this information on to the Parks Canada dispatch centre.
- The Parks Canada dispatch centre may send you the phone number of the Parks Canada Visitor Safety leader through the inReach ECC.
- If you receive the number for Parks Canada Visitor Safety, send the Visitor Safety leader a text from your inReach device to initiate two way texting directly with Visitor Safety.
- Currently Parks Canada emergency dispatch centers are not set up to receive texts directly. Only voice calls from a cell phone, satellite phone or VHF radio will go directly to the Parks Canada dispatch centre.
- Remember that all two way texting conversations using a Garmin inReach device must be initiated from the user’s device. Parks Canada Visitor Safety cannot initiate a text if they have not received a text from the InReach device first.
- Parks Canada Visitor Safety may also send an email to the inReach user to open communication lines if texting is not working.
- Keeping your emergency contacts up to date and informed about your activities helps speed up emergency responses, and helps emergency responders bring appropriate resources to the incident.
- Including information on how to reach the Parks Canada dispatch centre with your emergency contact information can help speed up responses within the National Parks.
How to Share Your Near-Miss
Send us an email using the following guidelines. In the subject line of your e-mail, please write the heading: Near-Miss!
Please make sure your report includes the following information:
- Type of activity (rock climbing, ice climbing, mixed climbing, scrambling, mountaineering, ski touring, etc.)
- Type of incident (rock fall, leader fall, ice fall, avalanche, crevasse issue)
- Your thoughts on what lead up to this event (thought process, experience level, etc.)
- Please provide us with as many details as possible.