Every year around 130 bushwalkers get lost or need rescuing in the Blue Mountains National Park. Most people are found within 24 hours but occasionally a weekend adventure can turn to tragedy. Think Before You TREK bushwalker safety initiative is increasing bushwalker safety and preparedness in NSW.
A key component of this initiative is the Online Trip Intention Form (TIF). The form is available online and bushwalkers can submit a TIF before they leave the house, in transit or at the track head from any device. The information collected in the form includes the trip date and time, start and end location, personal locator beacon (PLB) code, planned route, personal and nominated emergency contact details. Once a TIF is lodged, email notifications are sent to the bushwalkers and their nominated emergency contacts. NSW Police uses the information in the form to inform their emergency response.
This service has been successfully trialled in the Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Parks, and during the 2019/2020 fires led to a timely helicopter rescue in the Jagungal Wilderness area of Kosciuskzo National Park. It’s now available for use by bushwalkers in all NSW national parks, with over 6000 forms lodged to date. This has significantly improved bushwalker safety and preparedness, and has enabled a more efficient emergency response.