Skip to comments.For some stranded U.S. adventurers, rescues come at a cost
Posted on 02/18/2013 9:31:52 AM PST by Uncle Chip
(Reuters) - After an all-terrain vehicle accident in the Utah desert last spring, 53-year-old Mikki Babineau expected a long recuperation for collapsed lungs and 18 broken ribs.
What the Idaho woman didn't expect was a $750 bill from the local Utah sheriff's office for sending a volunteer search and rescue unit to her aid, a service for which the sheriff in that county regularly charges fees.
Just a handful of states, including Oregon, Maine and Babineau's home state of Idaho, have laws authorizing local agencies to bill for rescues when factors such as recklessness, illegal activity or false information led to the predicament.
Lawmakers from the Rockies to the Appalachians periodically question why adventurers who incur costs should not have to pay the price - literally.
That debate has heated up this year as legislators in at least two states have sought, so far unsuccessfully, to enact laws to allow fees for rescues.
"In the rare case where a person took unnecessary risks, that person should be sent a bill," said Wyoming Republican Representative Keith Gingery, who tried but failed to pass such a law in his state.
That few states currently allow such billing is chiefly due to objections by national search and rescue groups, who say the prospect of payment could prompt people to delay seeking needed aid, possibly making a dangerous situation worse.
But that has not stopped lawmakers from considering such laws. Legislators in New Hampshire, for example, are seeking to shore up search and rescue funds by establishing fees ranging from $350 to $1,000.
(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...
$750...she got off cheap.
So we should all be contained to major population centers?
She got off cheap. Dying alone under an atv would have been free.
This is very true.
My daughter passed out and quit breathing.
I called for an ambulance and 3 vehicles showed up.
It cost her $1500. Bucks because they billed her twice and she had lost the receipt from the first billing
No kidding. I paid $750 for literally a 2 mile ride several years ago.
I don’t think I am stupid for going into the wilderness. My wife and friends think I am because I always go alone.
Everytime I strap myself to a bicycle and head off into the unknown I am prepared if I don’t/can’t return. I’m pretty sure I’d have no problem paying any price for rescue. I would obviously not want to find myself in a situation where a rescue team was required, I think it far more likely they’ll find my bones. But I try to take the proper preparations and manage the risks as well as possible. Up to and including carrying a satellite rescue beacon.
I just love the adventure and surviving it. So, don’t call me stupid, call me LOCO!
Could you try that link again? I’m getting 404.
The problem, of course, is that the yuppies, and other urban folks, don’t pay the taxes which support the emergency services they consume and they don’t bear the cost, both economic and social, of injury or death to the rescuers.
Perhaps but the premise most here seem to be taking is that the government gets to decide who can access the more remote parts of America.
Yup — they send you bills for that EMT ride to the hospital now — about $500 just about anywhere in the country.
$750 for that ride in a wilderness area is cheap.
Right on. If I were to be rescued from some predicament, I would offer money to those who helped me. Even the Titanic survivors put money in a kitty for the crew of the Carpathia.
Here, a “rescue” from the parking lot of the hospital’s ER costs just the same as one from 10 miles away, but still within the city.
To you just riding an ATV constitutes a "stupid game"?
Do you spend your time playing horseshoes or lawn bowling or something? Get out more.
So, in your wisdom it's a good thing to pay by way of taxes a comfortable wage, health, and retirement package to first responders along with investing in their equipment. Then, when they get called to get off their asses, you get fined? I'll take one or the other, but both is too Obama like.
I’ve lived and worked in 5 national parks.
When people have injured themselves I have provided aid, carried supplies for other first responders, hauled packs, gear and even children out of the grand canyon,bryce and death valley. I’ve done search and rescue in the maze of Utah and pulled injured and dead vacationers out of Lake Powell. I never asked for a dime or a thank you.
After the fact, if it was deemed by the higher-ups that it was carelessness that created the incident, these people got a partial bill.
As for getting out more;
I’ve got more than 2 hundred miles BELOW the rim of the Grand Canyon.
I’ve hiked from Joshua tree through to the Scotty’s Castle.
And I was in yellowstone for the ‘88.
A $5.00 fee will not cover a $500,000 rescue!!!!
Last year while trail riding in Oregon I came upon a motorcycle accident (true unforeseeable accident; not related to negligence or improper use of the vehicle). Although 35 miles from civilization, five different agencies showed up to rescue the guy. Very professional and very impressive. In cases where the operator is found to have acted carelessly I hope the agencies do act to recovery partial costs.
If you go in the wilderness and you get lost, the taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for it.
Unless there was like an unforeseen change in the weather or some mitigating circumstance that kept you from making it home.
This comes with the territory. When you leave civilization behind, you’re responsible for your own well-being and knowing what the laws are. Particularly when you may be in need of rescue.
well gee, imagine that. but if you get a lot of people in there paying fees it would cover it.
but tell me, where is the cut off that you propose? If someone does something stupid and they live 10 miles away from a hospital should they pay more? Or maybe its 15 miles.
if you start allowing them to force the fees on people who have accidents then you are allowing them to control whether anyone goes there.