Re: colorado city charges large backcountry rescue fee
Theres a rescue of some sort almost every day in the papers.
But for a shriff's office to actually charge for one is rare.
The handful of previous charges I'm aware of have been
a part of a criminal conviction that incurred SAR charges.
A follow-up on this from following a SAR email lister: There have
been several articles in Colorado papers about this, nearly all
against charging for rescue. The primary reason is the delay and
complications that result when people try to avoid being charged by
not reporting the problem.
In fact Howard Paul of the Alpine Rescue Team in Colorado has compiled
a list of some verified incidents in which fear of being charged
caused problems. Obvoiusly this is not a complete list, just the ones
he was able to find easily. With his permission, here it is:
Climbers attempt self-rescue after
Boulder County, Colorado
Not long after the unprecedented media coverage of a search for
missing skiers near Aspen, Colo., a climber accidentally rappelled off
the end of their rope, an d fractured his pelvis. Fearing the cost of
a rescue as recently grossly mis-portrayed in the media, they did not
call for help and tried to self-evacuate, resulting in additional
injuries. Eventually the climbing partner went for help. Rescuers were
exposed to added hazard and difficulty of having to perform the rescue
in the middle of the night.
Man miles from shore refuses
rescue from lake
Utah County, Utah
A man and a woman were stranded in the water at night 2-3 miles from
shore in Utah Lake. Either their boat sank or a watercraft quit. We
found them at around 23:00, and as we pulled along the woman and
prepared to help her into the boat, the man, twenty feet away, shouted
"DON'T TOUCH HER!" It wasn't until he was assured that we didn't
charge for rescue that he allowed us to give them a lift. Both were
both coherent; hypothermia would have set in within hours and they
likely would not have survived the night.
Snowmobiler first calls family,
not 9-1-1, for help
Boise County, Idaho
A stranded snowmobiler called, first, his wife for help. She then
called the SAR team. When the wife told her husband that she was
talking to SAR, he told her to hang up. This was after recent media
coverage of the local ski area charging for "out of area" rescues.
After assurances that the SAR team does not charge, they finally asked
for help. The marine/backcountry deputy that reported this instance
said he is regularly asked by the reporting party if there will be a
bill for SAR.
Man becomes hysterical over
perceived of cost of rescue
Los Angeles County, California
A rescue of a 20-ish man involved a technical rescue of 150'-180' to
raise him up to a dam access road. The person was "borderline
hysterical" because a county FD helicopter was present and he was
afraid of being liable to pay for it. It was not until the rescuer
with the person convinced him that there would be NO costs that it was
safe to work with the victim on a 40°-70° slope.
Lost runner hides from SAR
A gentleman went for an evening run with his two dogs in the desert
near his house. He had minimal clothing and took only a water bottle.
He became lost and hunkered down with the dogs. One of the dogs ran
off and was found by searchers, which led them back to the subject,
who was now moving - to avoid searchers. The man said he heard
searchers during the night, however he was afraid he would be billed
for the search, so he did not respond. The next morning he
deliberately tried to avoid searchers while trying to sneak back to
Overdue persons avoid SAR
Douglas County, Colorado
Two adult dirt bike riders were reported overdue after dark. A dirt
bike passed a responding SAR team member on the highway, who turned
around to follow the bike. The two pulled into the parking lot of a
local establishment. Another SAR member was already there, briefing
the proprietor. The rider was one of the two overdue persons. Somehow
the two riders knew that SAR was en route; I'm guessing that when the
riders got to a place with cell phone coverage, one of them called
home and was told SAR had been notified. This rider rode back on a non-
motorcycle trail in an effort to avoid SAR. He said that he was
worried that he would be billed.
Missing woman tells SAR
she is not the missing party
Mt. Hood National Forest, Oregon
This search occurred right after Oregon passed a law allowing subjects
of SAR missions to be billed. "Our assignment was to check beside the
trail to the lake. On the way, we heard a radio transmission that a
searcher thought he had found Linda. We thought it was over, but a bit
later he reported that the woman he saw had never heard of Linda. The
search continued and we prepared to head up the trail toward our
search area. Before we got on the trail we were asked to hold our
position, so we spent about half an hour talking and waiting for
something to happen. Then we found out why we were put on hold. A dog
handler had a positive find. He had spotted Linda who was trying to
hide, then had to chase her down to talk to her. It seems that the
first woman was indeed Linda but had denied it when asked. Only later
was the dog handler able to get her to admit that we had found our
Women searches for husband by herself for hours, dangerous weather
Mt. Evans Wilderness, Colorado
A newly married wife dropped off her new husband for some high
altitude hiking and he failed to return to be picked up. She said on
their way to the mountains, they had joked about which of their bank
accounts would pay for "the $10,000 rescue" if anything happened to
him. Instead of calling for help, she drove the road for three-four
hours looking for him, worried about the bill she anticipated. She
finally called, but the search began late at night and by then the
peak was enveloped in clouds. Searchers had visibility of a just a few
feet and risked walking off the top of 600' cliffs.
- colorado city charges large backcountry rescue fee
- From: rick++
- colorado city charges large backcountry rescue fee
- Prev by Date: Re: lyme disease ?
- Next by Date: Re: Kelty Tioga backpack?
- Previous by thread: Re: colorado city charges large backcountry rescue fee
- Next by thread: Tick Control