Should you have to pay the costs of a rescue?

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Although charging the frivolous could usefully deter unnecessary rescues it could also deter some necessary ones. We've seen that as ambulance fees in Winnipeg have risen low income families have delayed calling for help which to later complications.
I can see that in an urban situation but I doubt too many people in a back country emergency would say "no thanks, I might get charged".
 
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I think you underestimate how careful with their cash some Canadians are!
Although it might not prevent a call for help it could delay it. Think of someone with belly pain, maybe it's appendicitis? Maybe we'll give it 24 hours to see what happens? Or a head injury, how long do you wait for an evacuation?
 
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Although charging the frivolous could usefully deter unnecessary rescues it could also deter some necessary ones. We've seen that as ambulance fees in Winnipeg have risen low income families have delayed calling for help which to later complications.
My experience was exactly the opposite.. Because of govt subsidies people used the ambulance as a taxi. It was really annoying in Connecticut. Here in Maine we are allowed to refuse to transport a person if there is no need to go by ambulance.

The discussion I believe was not about all rescues but those whose necessity was caused by negligence.
 
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It's probably hard to compare, but here in Switzerland everyone who needs to be rescued receives an invoice. It doesn't matter how well prepared he was, or whether he got into an emergency out of his own fault. The rescued person is responsible for the cost of a rescue. So far I've always assumed that when I was out and about in the North American wilderness.
 
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It's probably hard to compare, but here in Switzerland everyone who needs to be rescued receives an invoice. It doesn't matter how well prepared he was, or whether he got into an emergency out of his own fault. The rescued person is responsible for the cost of a rescue. So far I've always assumed that when I was out and about in the North American wilderness.
But doesn't Europe (or the Alps, specifically) have a very functional rescue insurance program? I've read that climbers in the Alps are a lot more likely to call for a rescue than NA climbers and the SAR services (including private helos) are more extensive and more commonly relied upon.
 
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But doesn't Europe (or the Alps, specifically) have a very functional rescue insurance program? I've read that climbers in the Alps are a lot more likely to call for a rescue than NA climbers and the SAR services (including private helos) are more extensive and more commonly relied upon.
Yes we do have that. If you have to be airlifted out by helicopter and you are donater/member of "rega" (Swiss Air-Rescue) for example, you'll get an invoice but they don't force you to pay it. That doesn't change the fact that you are responsible for the cost of a rescue. I agree that a lot of climbers in the Alps are a lot more likely to call for a rescue. I think it's a shame how some people "call for a taxi" if it wasn't necessary. I know of some cases where people had to pay for the "taxi service".

Greetings from Switzerland
André
 
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My wife and I have hiked all over in the Smokey Mountains Park. We've never had any issues that required getting rescued, of course we go prepared and had a thought out plan. I would feel sorry for some rescue person to have to carry me out of these hills. But I do know that a helicopter ride to a hospital is around 50,000.
 
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My wife and I have hiked all over in the Smokey Mountains Park. We've never had any issues that required getting rescued, of course we go prepared and had a thought out plan. I would feel sorry for some rescue person to have to carry me out of these hills. But I do know that a helicopter ride to a hospital is around 50,000.
Actually, on NPS lands (and most Federal lands), rescues are without charge, funded through a special federal SAR account, and they can usually get you to a hospital (otherwise there might be a transfer, which may or may not be included).
 
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I'm pretty confident the NPS Rangers would do all they can for someone.

I think, if it was deemed an unnecessary rescue, or the people being rescued were being stupid, and it put the rescuers lives in danger, then they should be fined. But this should decided by a NPS official or other non-profit agency. This should not be decided by a for profit entity.
 
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I'm pretty confident the NPS Rangers would do all they can for someone.

I think, if it was deemed an unnecessary rescue, or the people being rescued were being stupid, and it put the rescuers lives in danger, then they should be fined. But this should decided by a NPS official or other non-profit agency. This should not be decided by a for profit entity.
Like who for the for profit entity? I don't think that ever entered the equation here.
 
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Apologies. I guess I've missed the main point. Having the thought of being rescued, has always made me wonder about being transported to a care facility. I guess that's the least thing to worry about.
 
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Apologies. I guess I've missed the main point. Having the thought of being rescued, has always made me wonder about being transported to a care facility. I guess that's the least thing to worry about.
I think the costs of a rescue pale in comparison to the costs later which will make you lose any hair you currently possess!
 
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Yes. Its my choice to go do dumb stuff. If I can't self rescue, then yeah, I should pay people to take risks they otherwise wouldn't have to.
 
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Interesting discussion. SAR teams with choppers wouldn’t exist without a tax base, or they would be entirely private orgs. In the case of public equipment and employees, they exist for a reason: public safety etc. and it is in the public’s interest that the teams remain finely honed, including maintaining flight hours. Training can help, but there’s nothing like the real thing to focus a team. It makes sense for people who really need it to get help. It also makes sense that abuse of the system, i.e. calling a taxi, would incur cost of the trip.

Signs and education directed at the people recreating only accomplish so much. Who would hike the Grand Canyon without ample water? And yet I gave water to people who had only an empty 16oz bottle halfway down. I’ve not run into unprepared / people in need while paddling but I’m sure I will at some point.

When it comes down to it, the cost of rescue in a truly life threatening situation is worth it. Insurance is interesting. I bet it would be expensive, since it would be covering only high risk behavior.

“A man’s got to know his limitations.”
 
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I am a SAR team member in NY State. Most wilderness SAR activity is handled quickly, within a few hours by NYSDEC Rangers. Thanks to increased cell phone service, large "campaign" level incients are relatively rare and less involving trained volunteeers. Apart from the ubiquitous "lower leg injury", when I receive ranger's reports, every week, there is almost alwayssome incident where failure to adequately plan for darkness, or time, no compass or knowledge how to read it or a map, or with inadequate clothing (especially footwear) is the common cause. "But my cell phone has a flashllight built in" is one that really gets me. Some of these are ripe for assessing a "dumb fee".

On the other hand, I was recently on two recovery searches. One for an Alzheimers patient who walked out of her home and was found in the woods deceased 3 days later with the help of a trail camera photo that she walked past. Just a week later a hunter was found where he sat on the ground next to a tree, suffering a fatal heart attack after dragging his just shot deer about 50 feet. Who gets charged for those incidents?
 
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Not one for judging whats is responsible / reckless. I admire and respect search and rescue , rangers, and all others that come to aide others. As far as fining stupidity, its a good idea, but probly a real slippery slope. For example: climbing a new hampshire 4000 ft mt with a total hip replacement? Hip fails needs rescue. Charge or no charge. It can get real crazy real fast. People who pursue fkt ( fastest known times) take huge calculated risks. And can come up extremely wrong. Your free to do what you want but in the end it costs so for me undecided but very intresting.
 
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Not one for judging whats is responsible / reckless. I admire and respect search and rescue , rangers, and all others that come to aide others. As far as fining stupidity, its a good idea, but probly a real slippery slope. For example: climbing a new hampshire 4000 ft mt with a total hip replacement? Hip fails needs rescue. Charge or no charge. It can get real crazy real fast. People who pursue fkt ( fastest known times) take huge calculated risks. And can come up extremely wrong. Your free to do what you want but in the end it costs so for me undecided but very intresting.
Not sure why a hip replacement would require no climbing. I have a hip replacement. Its three years old. I hike the Whites though not at high elevations and I fall. My bionic hip is stronger than the other one.. I have my drs blessing to ski too. I have taken some good tumbles on my bike.. embarrassingly the last one was on the Narrow Gauge path at Sugarloaf last week.
 
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For example: climbing a new hampshire 4000 ft mt with a total hip replacement? Hip fails needs rescue.
so, just because I had a heart attack 10 years ago, I should give up paddling??? If anything people with health issues know their limitations because the SHTF for them already, and take far more precautions than the average Joe who has no idea that they've got a ticking timebomb in their chest, head, joints, etc.
 
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I had a TIA "mini-stroke" and subsequent cardiac surgery to repair a hole between heart chambers (PFO) to prevent any future issues. Nine months later after months of intense training and monitoring, my cardiologist cleared me and I completed my fifth 440 mile Yukon River Quest canoe race with a very respectable finish time. I have continued training and canoe racing in seven Adirondack 90 mie races since. No medical issues whatsoever.

I don't think that past medical issues, given sufficient testing and proper training necessarily falls into the disqualification category of making stupid decisions. Biut I do think it is stupd to venture into the wildeness unprepared with proper planning with gear, clothing/footwear, lack of practiced knowledge in use of map, compass or other navigation aids, lighting, itineraery, and other necessary skills that are primary or contributing causes to rescue disasters do count toward reccklessness.
 
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