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Pay for rescue gaining some traction

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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby gcoldewey » Mon Feb 18, 2013 10:51 am

This is probably blasphemy on this site, but I don't have a problem with charging for rescue. Why should the fine people (taxpayers) of Colorado pay for my (Texan) rescue if I get in trouble in the mountains. If I have a wreck in Denver and need an ambulance they will most certainly charge me for that service. Fortunately I have insurance for that risk. If we all knew that mountain rescue = significant fee, and it was consistent then there would be insurance products developed so that we can all enjoy our sport, pay our own way, not burden local taxpayers but not risk financial catastrophe either.

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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:11 am

I don't think a few small-county sheriffs who resent tourists constitutes "traction".
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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby ThuChad » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:25 am

"In the rare case where a person took unnecessary risks, that person should be sent a bill"

This sounds like a legal nightmare. Please define "unnecessary risks".
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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby SolarAlex » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:30 am

ive always been under the impression that if you are flown out via helicopter, they send you a bill. doesnt a corsar card provide 'insurance' against rescue costs?

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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby ajkagy » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:32 am

SolarAlex wrote:ive always been under the impression that if you are flown out via helicopter, they send you a bill. doesnt a corsar card provide 'insurance' against rescue costs?


corsar isn't insurance, it helps pay for rescue services that are all donated resources. A heli or ambulance dispatched to a location is usually an extra cost not associated with the people helping with rescue like rocky mountain rescue group.
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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby peter303 » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:35 am

This debate has been going on for decades. The article outlines arguments on both sides. I dont see what is new.

Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby Bean » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:47 am

gcoldewey wrote:Why should the fine people (taxpayers) of Colorado pay for my (Texan) rescue if I get in trouble in the mountains.

We don't.

SAR teams are against charging for rescue. Who are you to argue against the rescuers?
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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby gcoldewey » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:54 pm

Bean wrote:
gcoldewey wrote:Why should the fine people (taxpayers) of Colorado pay for my (Texan) rescue if I get in trouble in the mountains.

We don't.

SAR teams are against charging for rescue. Who are you to argue against the rescuers?


I do understand that part, but I assumed that the local sheriffs departments are involved in and expend resources and manpower for rescues as well. Is that not accurate?

Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby taylorzs » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:01 pm

Search and rescue services always have been free and always will be free. Every search and rescue team/mountain rescue team in Colorado is 100% volunteer and do not charge for any service.
Rescue teams are happy to accept donations if anyone ever wants to contribute, just go to your local team's website and donate. This helps pay for things like gear, vehicle costs, team building/storage rental, etc... because it does still cost money to run a rescue group despite the 100% volunteer staff. There are several very important reasons that search and rescue is free and always will be. The most important reason is that SAR volunteers are here to help others and do not want anyone to ever question calling for help because of a potential cost they could incur. Mountain rescue teams are highly trained, professional volunteers that want to donate their time, that is part of who they are. Mountain Rescue would much rather be called and not be needed, than be needed and not be called. Additionally, if someone puts off calling for help until the situation is dire, quite often this puts rescue volunteers in a more dangerous situation when they finally do respond and the outcome for the person being rescued is potentially worse. Rescue team members all have careers outside of mountain rescue, mountain rescue is a hobby that they do because they love to do it.
Additionally, there have been some comments here regarding charging people who do dumb things in the mountains and then need rescue. First off, you might be surprised to know that the majority of people SAR teams help were not doing anything blatantly stupid. They sometimes made a small mistake or were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, and a series of things happened that made them in need of help. Few people rescued were being "idiots, deserving of penalty" as some of the posters on this thread imply. How do you judge who was so stupid that they should be charged from someone who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time? It is real easy to Monday morning quarterback from a computer screen and pass judgements on someone who needed help in the mountains. It is much harder to sit back, not judge, and just be grateful that if you ever need help in the mountains a rescue team will be there for you and you will not be charged.
Sometimes SAR teams/mountain rescue work with other agencies. As soon as you go in an ambulance you start getting charged by the hospital. That has nothing to do with mountain rescue at that point.
I find people that advocate for charging for mountain rescue do not really understand the dynamics of how a rescue team works and why they do what they do. Mountain rescue will never be a charge service. So, next time you see someone on a mountain rescue team, thank them for what they do, buy your COSAR card because that helps pay for rescue team costs, and never hesitate to call for help if you need it (911 will get search and rescue going fastest). It will be free, you will never be charged for a single service, and that will NEVER change.
*Edit-Just read the article and apparently some rescue groups charge in other states, that is not the case in Colorado and it never will be.
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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby MountainMedic » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:08 pm

How the hell can people expect not to get billed? An ambulance transport (with two EMTs/paramedics) costs $800-2000. Think about how much more a technical rescue would cost. A significant amount is saved by using volunteers, but equipment and training costs are still exorbitant.

Buy a CORSAR card. I still feel guilty that mine expired a couple weeks before I could've used it. MRA lost out on thousands because I had forgotten to pay $3. While they're not billing me or others, I'm indebted to them and hope to pay it forward one day.

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Re: Pay for rescue gaining some traction

Postby highpilgrim » Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:17 pm

MountainMedic wrote:

Buy a CORSAR card. I still feel guilty that mine expired a couple weeks before I could've used it. MRA lost out on thousands because I had forgotten to pay $3. While they're not billing me or others, I'm indebted to them and hope to pay it forward one day.


Buy a five year card, and buy a new one every couple or three years. Then there's an overlap that accounts for your memory lapse.

It costs a little more that way but the money goes to the people who need it and you're not left holding the bag because you forgot.
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