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Need rescued? You might have to pay for it.

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Interesting predicament...
post #2 of 10
I love those programs... since 90% of the ones needing rescue went out of signed boundrys or went way out of skill leval
post #3 of 10
That is pretty common actually. It's hard to disagree with, especially since the guy is a tourist, and not a tax payer. He should have taken proper precautions. Can you imagine the cost to the fire department, which is already seriously underfunded.. and imagine how often they have to do this.
post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
I guess I think it should be done on a case by case basis, because no matter how experienced one is mother nature can always throw you a curve ball.

I wouldn't have a problem with some idiot who skis or hikes out of bounds, knowingly, and knowingly puts their own life at risk by doing something stupid paying for their rescue.

But I don't think that everyone who is in need of rescuing is doing anything wrong, and thus shouldn't have to pay to have their lives saved. What about the kid who wanders away from a campsite? Should the parents have to pay thousands of dollars to get their kid home safe?

Colorado depends on tourist dollars as a large part of our economy. If this happens too often and becomes public knowledge, people are going to think twice before coming here for their outdoor recreational vacations.
post #5 of 10
This just tells me that they're short on funds.

Jefferson County should apply some funding so whatever happens in that county, especially search and rescue, that it can be justified rather than someone slipping on some rocks or twisting an ankle and having to foot a bill.

All this is going to do is have the more [incompetent] hikers and climbers turn around and sue the park or reserve for not maintaining paths and other ridiculous accounts...just so they can pay the bill to the search and rescue team.
post #6 of 10
it is not going to be that much longer until the local fire department or police,
will be saying, will you be paying cash, visa or mastercard. when you call for there service.
post #7 of 10
Here in Tucson, we have the Southern Arizona Search & Rescue, which is funded by property taxes and is made up of various law enforcement, fire and military personnel, as well as volonteers. Helicopters are provided by law enforcement and or/the military (we have an Air force base here).
post #8 of 10
With extreme sports/activities such as that described in the article, I believe the charge is fair and just. With all extreme sports and activities comes a measure of risk....thrill...the potential for death. Why not the potential for a bill for your rescue should you need it?

Perhaps these people should have to pay for additional insurance if they are concerned about getting hurt during one of their high risk activities and having to have people go to extraordinary measures to rescue them.
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Extreme sports I can understand, but the guy was hiking. I don't think that walking in the mountains on a trail should be on the same level as rock climbing up a sheer cliff.
post #10 of 10
As an "unpaid professional" in the Search and Rescue field, I first want to say thank you to you all who think we should get more funding! My team, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department Search and Rescue, is ENTIRELY volunteer. And, we earn the title "unpaid professional".

Despite being 100% volunteer, search missions do cost money. We still need the trucks and equipment, and we often get assistance from the local police. Getting more funding would probably go the police departments, but if our unit could get more funding, we'd love to keep our gear more up to date- or get working tail lights on our trucks.

However, I agree entirely with the quote in the article. We do not want people to delay in asking for help, because that can cost lives, and that's a price no one should pay.

So, this is my suggestion! Rather than charging people who have legitimate situations- whether their own mistakes, stupidity, daring, lack of knowledge or bad luck- the ones I suggest charging are the people who do NOT honestly need rescuing. Do you know how many searches we go on for run away teens- who are at a friend's house watching TV? Or we go after a husband who's wife has called and said he's suicidal- and he's just a the local bar? In those situations you never know until the end that it's basically a waste of time, so we put just as much effort in to it as any, but after the fact, once we know, then the county should charge them.

I know it doesn't fully prevent people from delaying to call for help- especially since the people that call are usually the ones that think their loved one is in danger, right or wrong- but it wouldn't be as bad as charging people who really are in danger.

And yes, I know some places do not have volunteer search and rescue, and I know some places get a lot fewer "false alarms", but I could see this policy working for my unit, and some others.
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