A forward rescue procedure (FRP) for preventing loss of signal and dropped connections between a mobile station and the infrastructure in a wireless telecommunications network is disclosed. The FRP allows wireless systems to recover from forward link failures at the mobile station that would otherwise result in dropped connections. Examples of failure scenarios that can be overcome using the FRP include forward link Layer 2 acknowledgement failures and loss of forward link signal due to a fade that causes loss of signal for a period of time exceeding a threshold value. In response to a potential connection drop situation, a mobile station will autonomously add base station pilot channels to the active set of its rake receiver in order to rescue the connection in danger of dropping. Concurrently, the wireless network infrastructure will initiate transmission on alternative forward link channels that are likely to be monitored by the mobile station during an FRP. If the same channels are monitored by the MS and transmitted on by the infrastructure, the connection in danger of dropping can be rescued.

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