May 22, 2017

Spotlight: EvE-Scout Rescue Team

In early YC118, (former) Signal Cartel member Forcha Alendare had an idea: What if we sowed caches of probes and launchers in wormholes to help out any pilot who got stranded and was able to use them to probe their way out? Although we recognized that there are limited circumstances in which one might lose probes, it DOES happen. And many folks carry mobile depots so refitting is often possible. We thought it was a grand idea even if it could only serve a few. To those few, it would matter!

Thus the EvE-Scout Rescue Cache (ESRC) program was born.

But RL and other interests pulled Forcha away and the program languished. Until the dynamo that is Thrice Hapus proposed to Johnny Splunk and myself that he take over and manage it. He appeared to have good ideas, a great love for the ideals of the ESRC, and a very clear understanding of our Credo (which must factor into everything our members do).

You never really know what to expect when someone volunteers like this. Will they stay the course or fizzle out after a couple of weeks? Will they make changes for the better or just make a mess? Will they build successfully on the core idea or do a 180 to the original vision? It's always a risk but Johnny and I like to give our entrepreneurial thinkers the chance to shine. So we handed him the keys to the program and stepped out of the way.

That was around November of last year. Since then, the program has grown into a division within Signal Cartel called EvE-Scout Rescue which includes both the Rescue Cache program and the Search and Rescue (SAR) program. Thrice has recruited a great team of Signaleers to assist him, including:
Thrice and his talented team have made great strides in an amazingly short time:
  • Created theEvE-Scout Rescue web site
  • Developed easy to use search and data entry tools for those who sow, tend, and assist others to use our Rescue Caches
  • Developed a robust guide and "cheat sheet" for sowing and tending rescue caches and serving stranded pilots who need them
  • Organized a payout strategy so that those who serve the rescue cache or SAR programs are compensated
  • Brought to life an AI "co-pilot" named Allison who provides verbal and written Rescue Cache info and other helpful system info to our pilots as they move about space, as well as witty banter (not gonna lie, I think Allison is the best thing since sliced bread; she is an amusing and helpful companion)
  • Conducted regular Rescue Cache training fleets
  • Organized two very successful Great Cache Drive competitions
  • An awesome 2+ minute dramatized rescue reenactment trailer for the ESR program that (according to CCP Mimic) will air for the first time in the 15 minutes prior to this Sunday's o7 Show (and available on YouTube afterwards). 
But perhaps the most amazing accomplishment is that we now have Rescue Caches in over 40% of wormholes. That's 1066 active caches at the time of this writing, with new ones being sown and existing ones being tended every day. The ESR program provides a fantastic way for even our newest pilots to be part of something bigger than themselves--and earn ISK for doing it. As the icing on the cake, we have 17 confirmed rescues so far, as well as many contacts from stranded pilots that don't end in a rescue by us (typically because they either choose to self-destruct before we can find them or locals show them the way out to k-space).

I think it's safe to say that Thrice took those keys we handed him and has exceeded and continues to exceed our expectations. Given the energy and creativity of the ESR team, I can only imagine what is to come. So a big shoutout to Thrice and everyone on the ESR team for their dedication and hard work in service to our mission and we like to say, you #cantstopthesignal!

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